- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
The Las Vegas Rock n Roll race is a great race if you like an excessive spectacle of an event. While the race itself seemed organized and well run, there was so much other *stuff* piled on top of that experience that it takes away from the actual running experience. In an effort to stay positive about this race, let's start with the pros:
-The strip at night is undoubtedly cool to run. There isn't anything else like this on earth, and the big buildings and bright lights skew your perception (also true when walking home from the bars), and the miles pass by quickly.
-Crowds and support were pretty great. I'll forgive 2015 for being super windy, so probably even more crowds would have been out. Aid stations were frequent (although not spaced evenly) and had plenty of volunteers and water and Gatorade.
-Music throughout the course was mostly good and a nice motivator, especially on the back loop where it was less crowded, windy, and rainy.
-The chute after the finish line, which seemed to be another mile long, had tons of post-race stuff from water to space blankets to bananas. The girl giving out chocolate milk wasn't wearing yellow, so that was strange, and I also could have used a bag because my hands were full but I wanted to grab more stuff!
-Nighttime race - this could be a pro or a con, depending on your preferences. It's a weird schedule and messes up your nutrition, but you don't have to wake up early and you can go straight to the bars after!
-It's the Vegas Rock n Roll, so you're in Vegas, and that's dirty.
-There is so much waiting before the race, including getting there so early to stand around and do nothing, then wait for your corral to go. SO MUCH WAITING. I'd rather have spent that time getting in some calories closer to the start time or just not being on my feet. To make it worse, there was a Kid Rock concert during this waiting time. A special kind of torture probably taken from the second world war.
-There was no structure for the corral starts. Everyone was assigned, but several people didn't listen. I started in corral 7, and I saw bibs starting with us that were as high as 30. People were clogging the course as they started walking after about a mile - which is not to knock their race- everyone needs to run their own race- but that's the whole purpose of corrals, so that this does not happen and create dangerous situations.
-The expo was useless. First of all, the people working there had no clue what was going on. I didn't take the race tshirt, but I still needed the gear bag. This took a good 5 minutes of explaining, for some reason, to the girl working. The Brooks running experience was weird and I felt like I was given bad advice from people who just wanted to sell me shoes. The rest of the expo was mixed. I feel like the race organizers should have some standards as to who gets to be present at the expo. I was not interested in lasik surgery, nor was I interested in some black market diet-weight-loss-supplement that would have definitely gotten caught in my email spam filter. Not cool to sell that kind of shit to a group of already active people striving for actual health.
-The race shirt was boring and unoriginal. I didn't take it.
-The finish line spectating was hard to do. You pretty much had to choose between watching the race near the finish line, or meeting your person at the end of the chute, which was about a half mile of winding walkways and crowds down the way. There was also a fake smoke machine thing about 50 feet before the finish. Because inhaling fake smoke at the end of a half marathon while my picture is being taken is exactly what I want to do.
-Just the overall concept that this race is a huge production. It makes it hard to just get out and run and enjoy it for what it is. It's ridiculous.
This is a race I might recommend once to other people just because of the novelty of running down the strip while it's lit up, but other than that, there's really no reason to participate in this race. I'd see no reason to ever do it again.