The more I think about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon race, the more awesome the whole experience really gets. I mean really, where else would you be able to run down the entire Las Vegas strip at night with numerous people dressed up as Elvis, live music and a bazillion other runners just out there to have fun?
Holy cow it was a blast and it was the perfect race to end the year.
The race didn’t start until 4:30 pm so we had quite a bit of time during the day to wait around and such.
We weren’t really sure how to do the whole eating thing with a late start like that so we decided on doing a big brunch complete with some Nuun hydration.
Since we had such an exciting night the night before (yes, I’m kidding), we really didn’t do much after we ate except walk back to the hotel and lay low until race time.
WE didn’t really have a plan for getting to the start. It was cold out so we thought we’d just catch a taxi. Turns out traffic was a bit of a mess and they said runners should take the monorail instead. We just kind of followed some other runners who looked like they knew what they were doing and hoped it would get us to the start on time.
As usual I was trying to carry way too much with me. I don’t know why I didn’t just bring a bag or something, but man, that Handful really comes in handy for so many reasons.
I’ve never been on a monorail that crowded in my entire life. At least being so close to strangers kept us warm. Ha.
Still not really knowing where to go we just kept following the crowds through the casinos.
We finally made it to the start line festival just in time to catch the tail end of the concert. Gosh darn it, if it wasn’t so darn cold it would have been awesome to get there in time for the whole pre race party and concert with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
I’m fairly certain this cool Brooks rocker dude goes to every single Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series race. He makes me laugh every time I see him. He’s usually out on the course, but at this race he was by the port a potties. Ha ha.
Race outfit (just in case you care):
We spent a pretty long time in the port a potty line. Only to get to the front and realize there wasn’t any toilet paper in quite a few of them s owe were all about going and snagging some toilet paper from the other ones and bringing it back to our line. Good times.
Finally we made our way to the corral. There were over 30 corrals so it was a pretty long walk to the front to find ours.
The corrals weren’t as crowded as I thought they’d be. Maybe it’s because there were so many of them. WE met up with Sarah about 30 minutes later than we had planned. Ha.
We were on our way right on time.
Meb was pacing the 1:45 group which must have been starting behind us as I noticed him taking pictures at the start line. There he is.
I started out the race very open minded. I knew I’d probably run with Sarah for awhile. She was doing the full and I still was on the fence whether or not I was going to do the full or just the half. I had my GU and Vega gels and everything just in case I felt like going for it.
I have yet to master the in motion running selfie.
The sun set as we passed the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. Obviously I had to stop to take a picture and Sarah was nice enough to be the photographer.
Here are some blurry photos from the course. You’re welcome.
We ran by ultra-marathoner Shaun Evans who we recognized. Shaun has such an amazing story and won an ultra marathon pushing his eight year old son, Shamus, who was born with cerebral palsy, the entire way.
Now they are training to run across the country in the summer of 2015. How amazing is that? You can learn more about their story and their amazingness on the website: Power to Push.
So Sarah and I ran together at an easy pace and talked for awhile. I forget how much fun it is to just run and talk. It makes the time and the miles go by so much faster.
I made a couple stops. One to tie my shoe and the other to take a picture of one of the many wedding chapels we passed.
The half marathon course was really great. We were pretty much on the strip the entire time. There was lots to look at and a lot of entertainment on the course. It was nice and flat, although it was darn chilly and got a bit windy at the end.
At mile seven I was still undecided as to what the heck I wanted to do. But, at mile nine I knew. I just figured it wasn’t worth it. I was feeling good and honestly just didn’t want to run 17 more miles when I could just run 4 to make it a half. Nothing really hurt, but my heart just wasn’t in it and I wasn’t going to get a great time or anything and I didn’t think the physical stress and recovery would be worth it.
So, at the 15K mark when I could have turned right to go down into the residential areas where it seemed a bit quite a bit darker or I could turn left to back down the bright Las Vegas strip straight to the finish line I turned left and Sarah and I parted ways.
I second guessed myself right away and thought gosh darn it, why am I not running the full? I know I can do it. But then about two minutes after than the fabulous Erin came running across the street and gave me the biggest hug ever and I KNEW I had made the right choice for myself.
We had a plan. If I decided to do the full I had to text her and tell her I was selfish and wanted to keep running and not to worry if I wasn’t at the hotel yet. Ha ha. Well, I never had to send that text and we were both really happy about it.
A lot of people told me after the fact that I really didn’t miss out on much by not doing the full. I got to enjoy all the exciting parts of the course by just doing the half. You can see the course map here (it also has the 5K course and the 1/2 of the 1/2 course).
The finish line came up quickly and it was glorious. I never saw a mile 11 or 12 marker so that kind of helped make it go by faster I think. Not to mention once I made that turn I picked up the pace a bit because it got a little windy and I wanted to get out of the cold.
I am convinced that crossing a race finish line never gets old.
So you can’t totally tell in this picture, but the fact that I was freezing cold and could barely feel my fingers didn’t stop me from stocking up on all the free goodies they had at the finish line.
Our hotel was about a half a mile away from the finish line, but man that walk back seemed long. The hot shower could not come soon enough.
Here all the goodies I managed to carry back too.
So we were out and about in no time.
Our post race celebration dinner was at Grimaldi’s and it was fabulous.
I could not have asked for a more perfect weekend and a better person to share it with.
The combination of everything: the race, the experience, the smart choice for a change, the entire Rock ‘n’ Roll party and all the events, the people and friends…….
made it one heck of an epic weekend.