November 20, 2013

RnR Las Vegas, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Before signing up for this race, in March, I was well aware that it had a bit of a sorted past. I figured what the heck I’d give it a try since it was a unique experience. I don’t see me doing this race again, but I’m glad that I gave it a go.

20131117_154036The race festivities started around 3 pm in a parking lot across from Luxor with a concert by the All American Rejects!! They also had bagels and water available for runners, which was nice.

I arrived at the parking lot around 3:30 and made my way over to the UPS bag check area. I thought this meant it was somehow sponsored by UPS, which still might have been the case, but it was also actual UPS trucks. I walked up to the Ho-Joe truck and dropped off a jacket for the walk back to my hotel after the race and the truck drove it down to the finish line for me.

After a few texts back and forth and a finally a phone call I met up with one of my friend Jaime, who was also running the half. We chatted for awhile as we listened to the concert until it was time to start heading to the corrals. The concert ran over about 15 minutes, so around 4:15 we started heading to our corrals, but not before snapping this quick selfie in front of the Sphinx. RnRLV PreRace The corral system was a bit of mess. They had signs up saying which corral was what, but apparently those signs were incorrect so they had people holding smaller signs with the new corral locations. I found corral 23 pretty easily and made sure to stay in the back since I wasn’t sure how my body was going to hold up. The corrals were pretty much on an honor code type of thing and there were people just jumping in wherever they felt like it. It also took a long time to get everyone to the start line. After about a half an hour it was finally my turn to make it to the start line and John Bingham gave us some last minute advise to have fun as we headed out on our 13.1 mile journey through the streets of Las Vegas.

     RnR LV Start Line RnR LV John Bingham

We passed by the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign twice and headed down the strip where the street was lined with spectators. For the first 2.5 miles I was keeping pace with the 2:30 pace group, but lost track of them around mile 3.Welcome to Las Vegas SignSadly a lot of the ambiance was lost on me because I tend to space out when I race. I miss a lot of what goes on around me, as I try not to trip over or run into anyone, but I didn’t miss this . . .

RnR LV Mirage Volcano Apparently I timed it pretty well and the volcano in front of the Mirage was going off as I ran by! That was pretty cool.

I continued down the strip high fiving anyone with their hand out as I went by. As I got closer to the end of the strip the spectators started thinning out and by the time I saw this sign they were pretty sparse.

RnR LV Dowtown Sign

Honestly, I was not a fan of any of the “downtown” part of the race. In many places it was really dark and and the roads where in bad shape so we really had to watch our step very closely, which was difficult since it was so dark. I was also disappointed to find that even though I started in the second corral for the half marathon they had ran out of GUs before I got to the 8-ish mile mark where they were giving them out. I always bring my own fuel, just for this reason. Even though I don’t use GUs it annoyed me that they didn’t have enough to give to those who might have been counting on them. This was actually the first race I have ran where they actually ran out of things on the course.

Miles 7-9 were pretty boring and rough on me. My hip was doing surprisingly well, but I was so hungry and my feet hurt really bad since I thought it was a good idea to walk (3 miles) to the expo and back the day before. As I was nearing mile 10 I could see runners in the later corrals still heading toward the downtown area so I was checking the bib numbers trying to figure out if I had missed Jaime, or if I might run into her on the course, and then there she was right in front of the pawn shop so we took another quick selfie out on the course. RnRLV pawn shopFrom here I just trucked along to the finish line doing a combo of jogging, sprinting and walking. Since I had fell back a few corrals during the race it started getting pretty crowded toward the end. This was also because we met back up with the full marathon participants so we each only got one lane of space and at this time there were many more half marathon runners then full.

Soon enough I could see the finish line and I sprinted toward it weaving in and out of the other runners. Finally I finished the race and went on to get all of my goodies. Since I hadn’t fueled properly I started feeling quite nauseous, but after I grabbed my chocolate milk from Team Refuel (sshhhh I grabbed an extra as I walked by) and downed it I started to feel a little better.

I went on to get my bag, which I really needed to hold all of the post race goodies they gave me, which also happened to be in front of the Bellagio so I stayed there for a bit to enjoy my beer, take a post race picture with my medal and watch the water show before heading back to my hotel.

               RnR LV Loot    DSCF2069

And I took this picture on my walk back to the hotel of the strip being completely empty. It looks so much smaller this way.RnR LV Empty Strip

12 comments:

  1. I might have to give this one a shot...someday..... Congrats on the race!!

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    1. Thanks, Kristen!
      It's worth a try, to say you did it, but I don't see me going back.

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  2. YAY Summer! I love that you and J ran into each other! So cool- congrats on the race.

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    1. Thanks, Patty! I was hunting Jaime down! LoL. If she wasn't already past that point there is no way she was going to get past me. ;)

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  3. I can't remember if the Vegas race I did was a Rock and Roll.. but it might have been. Either way, I thought it was really bad. There was no crowd support outside of the Strip, and downtown Las Vegas was the worse!!

    Congrats on your race :)

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    1. It probably was. As far as I know it is the only one to go down the strip, or at least that is how they advertise it. It was okay, but like you said outside of the strip there was little to no spectators, and downtown was very dark and kind of gross.

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  4. Bummer about the Gu shortage. RNR is usually really good about that (from what I've seen anyway). I'm the same way about not noticing my surroundings during a race but the strip at night still seems awesome. Congrats!

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    1. The strip was fun!! I just didn't care for any of the downtown area.

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  5. Congratulations! It stinks about the GU, that's only happened to me once at WDW and ever since then I carry something with me just in case they run out. I've heard the horror stories for RnR races and running out of GU was not the worst I've heard, sadly, but I still want to run it next year. I love the last picture you took of the strip and the one in front of the Sphinx(that's where my dad works).

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    1. Oh yeah, it wasn't as bad as I had heard. There were just little things, like (old) road kill grounded into the ground, that I have not seen during a race before. If it was just one I would be willing to give them a by, but there were at least 4 or so along the course. That really grossed me out.

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  6. 2013 was my 2nd R&RLV half and it was a tough go for me too - mainly because I was sick leading up to the race. Just so you know - I ran the half too and was placed in corral 10 so they had full and half runners in every starting corral. It's too bad that the gu was gone by the time you reached it, I can't handle gu so I always carry my own fuel but it should be available for everyone since everyone paid the same fees to enter. Here is my race report: http://threebuttercups.blogspot.com/2013/11/race-report-las-vegas-rock-roll-half.html

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    1. Yes, I have heard that the faster half marathon runners were mixed into the earlier corrals, but from corral 22 back it was exclusively half marathoners. At least that is what the pre-race info and the race announcers said.
      I can't use Gus either so it didn't really effect me. I just felt bad for those who might have been counting on it.

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