Last Sunday was the Rock and Roll Vegas Marathon and Half Marathon. I was excited to fly across the country to Vegas, see my sister (who I haven’t seen in 2 years) and of course run a race especially looking forward to running the Vegas Strip at night.
The first stop like always was the expo. It was nice to walk around on Friday and take our time looking at things, believe me there were lots of things to look at!!! Then I went back on Saturday with my sis to pick up her bib and it was overwhelmingly packed!!! But I guess that is what happens when you have a huge race like this.
On Sunday we had all day to lay around and relax because the race didn’t start until 4:30 which would allow us to “run the strip at night”. Or as RNR calls it “We run the night”.
The bad part of running at night is that it is cold in the dessert at night and oh yeah, I forgot to mention, it didn’t get out of the 40’s during the day. Amazingly the only cold day they had in Vegas so far in November was on race day, Sunday and the winds were about 15-20 mph.
We waited until the latest possible to go down to the start but I was in Wave 4 so I wanted to get there at least 30 mins early. My sis was in wave 36 so I didn’t get to see her until after she finished but that was fun cheering her on to the end!
The race started on time and was fun. We got a pep talk from Meb (Boston Marathon winner and 4th place in New York City) and then we started. Each wave got a start of their own. There were about 2 or 3 minutes between each wave and they made it special for each wave.
It was fun to run the strip and high five the thousands and thousands of people watching in front of the hotels but after you left the strip it got pretty quiet and dark. I’m not really experienced running in the dark and found myself running very cautiously so I didn’t land in a pothole or turn my ankle (if it was gonna happen it was probably gonna happen to me!). We made it down to Old Vegas and then the marathoners broke from us half marathoners and headed down Tremont Street. I am sure it was cool to run through Tremont Street but I’m not sure the rest of it would have been that much fun. I imagined the full marathon would have been out into very desolate areas of Vegas and I am pretty sure there were not many people cheering you on (mainly due to how cold it was).
As I headed back towards the strip for the finish I just tried to relax, have fun and keep focused on the Mirage in the distance which was near the finish line. I was amazed to see how many runners where on the other side of the strip running towards me that were in the later waves. I was glad to be done and very interested in warming up.
In the end, I would say it was a fun race, good for first timers which I feel that is what they appeal too but not really my favorite. I wanted more bands along the routes and maybe a little more light in the sketchy areas so I wouldn’t have to run so tentatively. I have stated that I have no interest in doing it again but it was definitely something I feel good about doing. If you are interested in hanging out with about 30,000 runners and are okay with running in the dark at some points, give it a try!
And here are all the pics of event you have been waiting for: Enjoy!