Feeling Like a VIP in Vegas: Rock N Roll Las Vegas Review
I've ran the Rock n Roll Las Vegas before (last year's recap) But this time I had the opportunity to see a side of Las Vegas I'd never had the chance to experience before!
It's been awhile since my last post. I've been busy with the new job. But LOVING every minute of it! I had the amazing opportunity to go on a work trip to Las Vegas for a networking conference with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). As a special guest of the LVCVA, we also received a free entry into the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon/Half Marathon.
It was a busy, but fun-filled weekend of anything and everything running! You'll see by this long post just how crazy of a weekend it really was. But I wouldn't have traded a thing. :)
We were attending the LVCVA conference because the racing company I work for (GVP) is organizing the Sin City Shootout 5k, 10k & Double Your Luck Challenge, also in Vegas. We were there to network and make connections in the local running community.
We started off the weekend treated as VIPs! I had an amazing room in Mandalay Bay.
|Check out that view!|
For dinner, we were directed to a private bar on the Mandalay Bay rooftop, just for us! The view was amazing, looking out over the strip. The food-incredible. The drinks-top notch. And the company was the best. We were all there on business, but also running the race. So it was tons of fun getting to chat with everyone about running. I was in my element! :)
|Some fun, beautiful, amazing ladies we met.|
|My boss, David and I couldn't get over the views!|
They even hooked us up with some special "Las Vegas" gear! Arm warmers, a beanie, gear belt and even a very cool Under Armour bag.
We retired pretty late back to our rooms but the night was a blast! The next morning, we swung by the expo. If you've never been to a Rock n Roll expo, they're always massive. You definitely have to set aside a chunk of your time just for getting there, parking, and making your rounds.
I made sure to swing by the Nuun booth and see some good friends and fellow Nuun-ies working the crowds.
|Jim, (left), Me (center), and George (right)|
After the expo, it was off to Sunset Park. That's the site of our race course for Sin City Shootout 5k, 10k & Double Your Luck Challenge. We were touring the route (super flat!) as well checking out a local food truck festival that day. Needless to say, I loaded up on even more amazing food!
Now it was time for dinner again. (More food, more drinks. It IS Vegas after all!) The LVCVA had reserved shuttles to take us to MGM Grand for an incredible sit-down meal at FiAMMA. Hands down one of the best meals I've ever had. Complete with a cherry dessert, garnished with gold flakes. I told you they treated us like VIPs!
Stuffed full to the brim, it was off to bed in my luxurious Mandalay Bay bed. Fell asleep like a baby that night. Sunday morning, race day, it was a little chilly in the morning but nothing too bad. LVCVA had yet another amazing spread for us for brunch. Every meal was a feast!
Eventually, it was time to start gearing up for the big event! I was running the Half Marathon, and not sure what was in the cards for me. I've been recovering slowly from injury, and didn't have a clue as to how it would go. Only one way to find out!
My friend, Jim, got ready at my hotel (he had already checked out of his and was flying out right after the race!) Then we walked over to the concert, which takes place right outside Mandalay Bay.
The strip was already closed and we got to snap some photos on the way to the concert. Tons of other runners were doing the same.
On the way into the concert, the runner traffic came to a stand-still. Apparently, as a possible result from the events in Paris, they had increased security and were going through every one's drop bags before going inside the concert. It was a huge crowd and took longer than expected to get inside, but we had left super early so there weren't any real concerns on our end. But I could see where that might have caused problems for those arriving late.
The headliner this time around was Kid Rock. I'm not a huge fan of his, but was pleasantly surprised. He puts on a good show!
The weather was windy and a little chilly, but not that bad at all. I managed to find friends and snap a few photos before making the slow trek to my corral. Plus, there were PLENTY of porta potties for the massive crowd, so I was able to use the bathroom twice without every waiting longer than a few minutes.
|BibRave.com was well represented! Heatsheets in action.|
|Quick selfie with Pavement Runner before checking my gear bag.|
As the sun started to set and people begin filing out to the corrals, it was getting cold! I highly recommend using a gear bag, so you have dry, warm layers waiting for you at the end. If you don't typically utilize gear check at other races, this is one you'll want to make an exception for.
This is a HUGE race. I originally had been put in corral 32... and although I knew I would be slower than usual, I moved up to join my friends in corral 8 (1:45 pace). The corrals were PACKED. Just getting to my corral and maneuvering to where my friends had landed was quite the task. But I managed to get to them and snap a selfie before time to take off.
By the time we started, it was cold. VERY WINDY. And started raining. It never really poured rain, but it was just enough to make you wet and cold. However, this wasn't my first time at RnR Vegas and it's always a cold race, so I was prepared.
There's a spot just beyond the starting line (maybe half a mile?) where you can pull off and get shots of you and your friends in front of the Vegas sign. That's where this shot came from. It was such a good one I caved and bought it.
After that, we all just fell into our own paces and rhythms. I thought I would be dreadfully slow, but I found myself passing TONS of people. In fact, the entire race I was weaving around runners. Don't get me wrong, I'm not super fast, but this is a very crowded race and I was going much faster than anticipated.
The course seemed really limited on mile markers. I guess that can be a blessing in disguise if you don't want to know how much farther you have to go. I like to be able to pace myself and gauge my efforts based on those markers and could have used them, but ultimately it was a wash either way.
The BEST thing about this race? It's a SUPER FLAT course. I was going faster than I thought I would be, wanted to keep up the good pace as long as I could, and the flat course kept me going. Eventually, as the wind picked up (trash and water cups were flying everywhere), I just wanted the cold race to END so I pushed it harder and kept trucking.
After 13 cold, achy miles...The finish line finally was in sight! The finish corral is a little concerning, because you have to walk quite some time through the "chute" before you get to the water/food, medals, etc. Fortunately I wasn't famished or anything but if you need water the minute you stop running and cross the mat, you were out of luck.
Overall the race wasn't horrible. Just the weather. But a race can't control that. And I definitely can't complain too much. Because I was worried I would even finish and I ended up with a pretty good time for no training and tight/tender muscles! 1:57:16... not a PR, but I'll take it!
|My RnR Vegas Results|
After the race, it was time for the long haul back to the hotel (It's not an out and back course, you end by the Mirage). I needed a nice hot shower and a meal.. yes.. more food! But I took some time to check out the bling.
|The numbers in the middle spin.|
After a good night's sleep you'd think, surely that's the end to a fun-filled weekend right? Nope! I met up with the awesome We Run Social crowd in front of the Bellagio.
|Standard Group Pose|
We laughed, swapped a few quick stories, and of course, took ALL THE SELFIES! Me.. I had to be the one to ask for the GROUP SELFIE. See, who needs a selfie stick?! :)
|"The Making of the Selfie" was even captured.|
Now THAT is how you end one incredible Las Vegas weekend right there! The experience was definitely a whole new one for me, mixing work with my passion. I feel incredibly blessed at this point in my life to be where I am and to have had such a great opportunity with GVP.
An incredible roller coaster of fun, work, running, and making/meeting new friends. It's the only way to experience Las Vegas and the best way to enjoy the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Strip at Night!