Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Las Vegas, NV
Sunday, December 5
Half Marathon #16/50
Weather - Cloudy, chilly, 50s

The Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll half marathon was one I signed up for AGES ago. Long enough ago that I was planning on only doing a race a month. Hmph. That didn't last long.

I had intentionally booked a room at the Luxor. For two reasons. First - it wasn't nearly as expensive as most of the other hotels at that end of the strip. Second - it was only one hotel away from the start line. We had a tough time finding out when the actual start was, but the info stated we could get in our corrals at 6:30. We didn't figure we needed much time to get ready and over there, so we didn't get up until almost 5:30. L and I are professionals. We have done race day together so many times that we have it down to a science. R sorta threw off our routine and we started to get a bit panicky. We still weren't REALLY sure where the start was, just the general vicinity. The nice thing about a race this size is you can just follow the herd and you will get where you are going.

Casino lighting makes my eyes creepy :(
R got a picture of the two of us - one of the few times we aren't wearing the same thing! I had Leah at Sparkle Skirts custom make me an Elvis type costume. I already had purchased the skirt (months ago), and she made me the awesome top and belt!

The outfit was perfect!
Complete Insanity!!
After we got all our pictures done, we headed for a quick bathroom break - so nice to be able to wash hands afterwards, then headed outside. And much to our dismay... the corrals were lining up backwards. So we had to go all the way past most of the runners. R was all the way in corral #3, and we were moving against the flow of traffic. We get to the corral with just minutes to spare, and there is a port-o-potty literally a block from the start. With no line. I go again. Better to be safe than sorry. Get my headphones in and pretty much walk up to the start line and go.

Start line!
I knew this race was going to be mentally tough. The strip takes a LONG time to walk. And knowing we were going to have run it both ways and then some... well, it hurt my head just a bit thinking about it. I was also a bit worried about my race outfit. I had never even tried it on before, much less RUN in it. I was using a different pouch to hold my phone, and managed to secure it under my Elvis belt so that nothing bounced around. All in all, my outfit was the least of my concerns. The first mile or so I was doing more weaving than I like, but... WOW. This might be the biggest race I have ever done. There were SO many people. And quite a bit of spectators!

It seemed like the water stations were pretty close together, less than every two miles. Which was NICE. I was getting hot with my collared shirt. I was feeling "ok" but not great. Passed the Stratosphere (over 4 miles) and then heading into the "other" part of Las Vegas and I noticed a small bar was putting out cups of beer. 4.75 miles in and yes... I had a cup. Not sure if it was a good idea or not but I felt obligated to! I was hitting a decent pace when I passed the 10K marker, but I was starting to feel tired. And I knew exactly what I'd be looking at for the last 4 miles.

There were actually not that many people in costumes, and I got lots of comments from other runners and volunteers about mine.

The last few miles of this race went on forever. I was starting to think I had missed mile markers. I mean, I had been able to see Mandalay Bay FOREVER and yet I was not making any progress. Finally I see the sign for the half and full marathon splits and then I give it all I have and book it. 

I missed my sub 2 hour time. Again. Curse it!! But I felt good most of the race, all my splits were under 10 minutes, and my last mile was under 9. That doesn't happen very often. Let's pretend that my beer stop slowed me down :)

Official Time - 2:00:58
5K Split - 28:17
10K Split - 56:45
10 Mile Split - 1:32:24
Overall - 3984/19169
Division - 322/2154
Gender - 1516/11917
Garmin Time - 2:00:57
Garmin Distance - 13.16 miles
Overall Pace - 9:11
Mile 1 - 9:12
Mile 2 - 9:04
Mile 3 - 8:58
Mile 4 - 8:54
Mile 5 - 9:09
Mile 6 - 9:18
Mile 7 - 9:16
Mile 8 - 9:31
Mile 9 - 9:10
Mile 10 - 9:27
Mile 11 - 9:20
Mile 12 - 9:10
Mile 13 - 8:56
Mile 13.1 - 8:26

All things considered... I'm pleased.

We headed back to the hotel to shower and change, and then it was back to the finish line for... BRET MICHAELS OF POISON! I had no idea he would actually be singing songs from Poison, and it was a BLAST. I saw him in concert last summer, and out of all the bands from that time period, he still is a great performer - and his voice still sounds awesome!

By the time they were done singing, we were STARVING. And we had our hearts set on Fatburger. So... more walking. Another mile or so down the strip and I had a fabulous burger. Mine is the "little" one on the left. J's is on the right. 

After lunch? More walking. We went back to the hotel because we were a little cold. Changed clothes, and then back up the strip to the wax museum.

This was a neat museum because it was "interactive" in the sense that you could actually get close to them and get your picture taken. This is my favorite:

Then we headed to Fashion Show, where I "just" missed Santa Julius at the Paul Frank store. By less than five minutes :(

Then.... you guessed it. MORE.WALKING. Heading back down the strip where we were going to relax for bit before deciding how to spend our only real night out.

Volcano at the Mirage
We stopped inside the "Munchbar" for snacks. Sweet potato fries, Miniature grilled cheese and Philly Cheesesteak sliders. DELICIOUS! Since it was happy hour, appetizers were 50% off. Cheapest meal of the trip!

Water show outside Bellagio
We stopped at the gas station across the street and bought some beer so we wouldn't spend as much if/when we went out. I had one and then I dozed off for a few minutes in the room. By the time J decided it was time to go out it was almost midnight and raining. R and L were both asleep so we decided we would just hang out downstairs. I played a few slots, and actually left with a small amount of money.

We got tired of beer, so we stopped at the "Slushy Stand" in the hotel lobby and got some drinks. Mine was called "Call Girlz" and was berry flavored with vodka. SO GOOD. Then we stopped for a snack (I had a chicken quesadilla) before heading to bed for the night just before 3:00 am.


  1. omg! You are officially my idol. First, because you wore an elvis costume in a race, second because you had a beer DURING your race, and third, because you got to see Bret Michaels LIVE! You are inspiring me to sign up for RNR Las Vegas next year :)

  2. Congrats!!! Awesome race report. I LOVE your race costume. I'd love to do the 1/2 in Vegas.

  3. I love your costume! And having a beer 5 miles in the races; priceless! :)

  4. Awesome outfit! I did the Rock'n'Roll in VA and decided I don't like the crowd and rather run for smaller races, which benefit a charity. Oh man, soo close again, next time!! Good luck in the VA race next weekend!!

  5. loooooove the elvis costume! awesome! i heart elvis!
    great job on the race. just over that 2 hour mark, you u still rocked it. or Rock and Rolled it! yay!

  6. Fun race and costume! I'm toying with doing that one next year....but it's boring huh?

  7. What Alma said - all kinds of AWESOME! I love Vegas - maybe next year....

  8. I had a martini during a marathon once. What can I say, it's New Orleans!

  9. YES! Successful trip AND RACE!! Your costume rocks my socks off & I'm so happy you got to see Bret Michaels. CONGRATS! Looks like you had an amazing & happy time!!


  10. Okay, this confirms what I suspected ... this is the perfect race for me! I LOVE Las Vegas. I pretty much always want to be there. I know I'm going to have a blast next year.

    Congrats on another great race - and your costume is so super cute!! I'm so happy you got a big slushy drink, too!

    Wait a tic!! Munchbar -- I totally remember seeing that when I was last there. I believe I was the giggling kid making dirty jokes about the name. I didn't know they'd have grilled cheese! I must check that out next year for sure!!

    Thanks for posting this and all of the fun pictures!

  11. Good job! Looks like it was a great race! :)

  12. Great recap and great outfit. Glad you didn't have any complaints about the skirt, I'm wearing one this Sunday and won't be "testing" it before the race.

  13. This was my 5th rock and roll race of the year- i will agree-most crowded race I have been a part of. But Competitor does a great job with organization (and medals). And, I will also agree it was hard seeing Mandalay bay for so many miles! I can't believe I didn't see you-from your pic of Bret Michaels-it looks like we were right next to each other. Maybe we can meet in Mobile. Congrats on another great race!


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