RnR Vegas Review: My Mission for 13 Miles, 13 Selfies w/ Strangers
Running the Strip At Night! Was it a party, a race, or both?
Did I manage to meet my goal of a selfie with a stranger at every mile?
I break it all down in my RnRLV Race Review!
I arrived in Vegas on Saturday, checked into the Luxor casino/hotel and we were off to the expo!
The weather was perfect in the 70s. The expo was massive, as are most Rock n Roll races. This one was definitely the busiest I've ever seen though. Lines were long no matter where you went, but they moved people through pretty quickly.
Lots of great booths, from the Nuun Booth to the Hot Chocolate booth. And Meb Keflezighi, winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon, was there giving a talk. Glad I got to hear his interview because now I want to buy his book!
- Lots of great booths
- Tons of great promotions
- Celebs like Meb!
- LOTS of people
- Long lines
- Far from my hotel, but was able to take public transit/metrorail.
RACE NIGHT-SOCIAL MEET-UPSince the Rock n Roll Vegas race is a NIGHTTIME race, I was able to go out Saturday night. But I'm not big on drinking a lot the day before a race, so I kept it tame. I did get to meet up with great social media runners I've met on Twitter: @enjoythecourse, @KingRunsFar, @nevieb, and @GeorgeOkinaka
We met at the Bellagio fountain and watched a few "shows" before grabbing a drink. Was a tame night but tons of fun nonetheless!
RACE DAY (pre-race)
Morning of the race, the temps plummeted. We went from a high of 70's to a high of 50! Fortunately, we'd looked at the weather and new this cold snap was coming, so we'd brought along some warm layers.
We slept in, ate a big breakfast, and tried to just snack until race time. The toughest thing people have found with this race is their nutrition/fueling beforehand. You don't want to start a race on a full stomach, so you need to watch what you eat throughout the the hours before the start. Plus, you need to remember to stay hydrated throughout the day. I snacked on apples and a cliff bar and drank plenty of water and Nuun until race time.
The Luxor was right by the start line and we wanted to catch the concert. Macklemore was performing and we weren't the only ones wanting to get there and see him! Everyone showed up to the start early. Also, this was at the first Rock N Roll race I'd seen do day of packet pickup for those showing up late and so the concert had a full audience!
I met up with some more awesome social runners like the infamous @pavementrunner and @pointonemiles, and we all caught the awesome Macklemore performance. The best concert I've seen at a race. It really got us pumped up for the race, despite the cold.
|Courtesy: running.competitor.com (c/o Ryan Bethke)|
|Courtesy: running.competitor.com (c/o Ryan Bethke)|
I kept warm layers on until the last minute and used gear-check to keep my sweater and sweat pants in so they'd be waiting for me at the finish line. I highly advise doing the same. Because in this race, you will only be colder at the finish.
The race was off with a bang! Literally! Each corral started with fireworks!
There were photographers waiting to take pics at the Las Vegas sign, and everyone stopped for selfies. It was right around mile 1 or 2. So everyone was still feeling fresh. And thankfully once we started moving we all warmed up and could enjoy running the strip!
My goal was to taking a selfie with a random stranger at every mile. But unfortunately because it was a night run, my camera just wasn't having it. They all were turning out like this!
I quickly had to scrap that idea. But as I was running down the strip, completely shut down to traffic, I noticed all the spectators! There were hundreds of them! Imagine all the people you normally see walking down the vegas strip stopping to cheer on runners. It was definitely the most spectators I've seen in a RnR race. So I thought, hey, they deserve a little praise too! I re-evaluated and decided to stop and take selfies at every remaining mile with spectators.
They loved it! I would shout "selfie with spectators!" and they hollered like they'd just won a prize. It. Was. Awesome!!
Their sign was appropriate don't ya think? :)
But our amazing spectators and cheerleaders weren't the only ones who deserved a shout out. What about all the volunteers! They were out there handing out water and directing traffic, and they weren't running so they were all bundled up from the cold... but still helping out so the volunteers deserved some selfie-action too!
The race finished near the Mirage. I pushed it during the last mile and man was the finish line a PARTY! The volcano was going off every few minutes. Music was blasting. I had stopped moving and it was getting cold, but the excitement around the finish line helped take my mind off of it.
There was a small shop selling hot chocolate right off the strip and it was heaven!
Unfortunately, my plane was leaving in just a few hours. So I didn't have time to celebrate afterwards.
But once I made it to the airport and got on my ride home, I managed to get in one last selfie with a stranger!
- Late start. Allows you sleep in and take your time getting ready. (But don't recommend going crazy the night before.)
- They completely shut down the strip. So it's an amazing one-of-a kind experience.
- It's a party! Music, lights, tons of spectators.
- Awesome pre-race concert!
- Post-race Beer. Usually you have to wait to weave your way through the crowd to find your beer tent and get your free beer from RnR. This time, they were handing them out before you made you way through the finish corral!
- Late start. You have to watch what you eat throughout the day, but still need to eat. Takes some planning.
- COLD!! This race seems plagued with cold. Was even moved up a few weeks to avoid it, but a cold snap came right in. However, if you plan ahead, it won't catch you off guard.
- "Perks". Although I like the idea that Rock N Roll had tons of "perks" such as discounts and free drinks available throughout the weekend, I felt that they were not what they seemed. A "free drink" at a specific bar, within an allotted hour, and only one kind of drink is very limited when in a huge city. But the thought is what counts and it does stand out compared to what other races may offer.
- The Full. Many friends ran the full, and some dropped down to the half mid-way through. Those who completed the full enjoyed it, but they were finishing late into the evening. Also, the cut-off was much shorter than most full marathon b/c they had to reopen the strip to traffic.
All in all, I still highly recommend Rock n Roll Las Vegas. However, I don't recommend you go planning for a PR. It's definitely best suited for a race you can run as an end-of-the-year celebration with friends.