Race Review: Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

After thoroughly preparing for this race by being drunk for two nights in a row, eating everything I never normally eat, and walking all over the strip for two days in the wrong shoes, I was ready to race. But first, why not get in one more meal that would seal my doom?

I ate that delicious burger around 11:00 am, sucked down 3 glasses of water, bought a huge bottle of water, then proceeded to nap all day until it was time to get ready for the race. Around 2:00 pm, my tummy wasn’t feeling so well so I “tried on a few things in the fitting room.”

Around 3:30, Hubs and I walked down to the race start at Mandalay Bay from New York, New York and by that time I was feeling much better but my legs were stiff and my feet were still sore.

Once we got to Mandalay Bay, the marathoners were starting the race so we hung out and watched all the corrals go by.

I was never so happy I wasn’t one of them. Running a race in Vegas sounds like a good idea until you get to Vegas because all you want to do is everything else but run.

After the marathoners were off and the roads cleared, we walked down to the Finisher’s Village to hang out while we waited for Michelle and Dan to arrive. We saw a couple caged tigers along the way.

And I saw this guy with his kid strapped to his back in line for the bathrooms.

You don’t have to be creepy. I’ll do it for you. He finished the half in 4 hours and 20 minutes. < —- stalker.

We left early so we could catch a few songs from Cheap Trick but it was so cold, I wished we had waited at the hotel longer.

Once Michelle and Dan arrived, we got into our corral, got some good luck kisses from the hubbies, and set them free to do their man-thing for a couple hours. And of course we took our pre-race pictures.

I planned to run this race for fun and didn’t care about my finish time, so I didn’t bring my Garmin with me which was kind of liberating.

The race started and I felt pretty good despite the torture I had put my body through the previous 48 hours. Around mile 2, Michelle and I saw Sarah cheering her face off so hard that she didn’t hear us screaming her name or see us doing the monkey-wave.

Around mile 4, I was having some hip and left calf pain. My feet were already sore so the pain just escalated as the miles ticked away. Oh, but my knee was fine. So I guess there’s that.

Running down the strip and being able to look at all the lights was amazing. We saw a lot of interesting people along the way, including people dressed up as Elvis, people wrapped up in Christmas lights, and this guy with a broken foot scooting himself along.

The entire race was elbow-to-elbow. Michelle and I kept apologizing for elbowing each other and I yelled at a few runners for being d-bags and pushing through us. The marathoners were getting pissed at the half marathoners for not staying on their side of the cones, which were poorly marked to begin with and there weren’t as many bands as I expected. Especially for Vegas. Savannah sure. But Vegas? Oh, and the death metal band at mile 9 made me want to punch myself. I ran faster to get away from them.

Michelle and I stayed together for the first 9 miles and I really thought we were going to finish the race together (for the first time ever) but there were so many people that split us up and I lost her.

After mile 9, I was ready for the race to be over. I felt good mentally (for once), but my calf and hips were hurting. I walked through 5 water stations, including one where the volunteer was faced away from the crowd enjoying her own cup of water. The stopping and starting at water stations was really hard on me. I didn’t eat anything during the race which was a bad idea, but I was afraid to eat what I brought (a Cliff bar and some Gu Chomps) because of the sugar.


Running back down the strip was awesome because I knew the order of the hotels, so I just mentally ticked them off until I got to the end and enjoyed looking at the lights. My speed slowed down big time because of my calf and hips but I was still passing a ton of people so that motivated me.

Once I got to the finisher’s shoot, I saw the hubs! (If you saw a guy with an LED hula hoop, that was him. That hoop made him super easy to spot in the crowd.) Then I crossed the finish line to the biggest cluster f*ck I have ever seen. I had to slow down before I crossed the finish to avoid running into a standstill of people.

Finish time: 2:18:20

Once I stopped running, a wave of horrible hit me. All of a sudden my calf seized up, I couldn’t walk without limping, my stomach was in knots, and I felt like I was going to throw up. Feeling like that while packed in the middle of hundreds of non-moving people is AWEsome. I can’t even tell you what they had for post-race food because I just needed to get out of there fast and it wasn’t happening.

It took me a good 10 minutes to get out of the crowd and the whole time I was trying not to get sick. Then I found Michelle, Dan, and hubs and we started walking in the hot mess of people to Mandalay Bay. I was freezing and I had to get to the bathroom. After waiting in the longest, stinkiest line ever, I made friends with the toilet. I wanted to catch a cab back to the hotel but the lines were so ridiculous at Mandalay and Luxor that it would take less time for me to limp back than it would to wait for a cab. So, we walked. I had to stop every few minutes to sit down and get the energy to move on. The escalators and moving walkways sucked, but walking sucked more so I had to use them.

Once we got back to the room, I couldn’t walk anymore. I wanted to get room service but there was a $3.00 delivery fee and 18% tip on top of the price, so hubs got me food while I took a shower. Once I ate, I instantly felt better. I couldn’t walk, but at least I wasn’t nauseous.

Everything that went wrong with this race was my fault. The hip/calf pain was from all the walking in the wrong shoes, the stomach pain was from the giant plates of greasy food, the nausea was from not eating during the race and the dehydration from drinking like it was going out of style. But I’m still glad I did it because I had fun, and when in Vegas, do as the Romans. Or something like that.

I’m also glad I ran this race because running the strip is awesome. With that said, I am done with Rock ‘n’ Roll races. In my opinion, the two I’ve done have been the most poorly managed races of them all. I’m not sure why everyone makes such a big deal about them.

Next up is the Miami ING half marathon in January. 🙂


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28 responses to “Race Review: Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

  1. I LOVE that you looked up baby man’s race time! I was totally gonna do it too 🙂

  2. I have not heard too many positive things about Rock N Roll races, but I would love to run the strip. A very cool way to see Vegas. But you are right….once I got to Sin City all I would want to do is eat, drink, and dance the night away. Not the best pre-race activities. But hey. 2:18?! That is a rad time in my book – nice work Lady:-)

  3. You’d think with as much as the races cost that they’d at least be able to have things well organized. I didn’t know they made LED hula hoops! That’s awesome!

  4. I’m still sad we didn’t finish together. I even envisioned us holding hands. *tear*

    Did you hear about how they started using fire hydrant water near the end of the race because they ran out??? Disgusting! And just think, we got a “discounted” price of $120.

  5. I think your time rocked! Nice job. Sorry you felt bad while running (and after).

    I love the idea of running the strip at night, but I’d hate dealing with the cluster.

  6. You poor thing! I heard there were lots of people getting sick! No bueno. I think a lot of your RnR experiences have to do with savannah being inaugural and LV basically being inaugural. I felt the RnR San Diego was ran very well and there were 36,000 people. I just wish they weren’t so dang expensive!!

    • Possibly. But I don’t see why LV can’t get it together. The race only changed times. They know what it takes to put on a massive race no matter. I was considering RnR New Orleans in 2013 but now I’ll have to sleep on it since you thought San Diego was well done.


  7. Lee

    I hope there are no caged tigers in Miami.

  8. You’re my hero. I would have caught a cab at mile 4 😉

    Maybe I should make my own goal of running down the strip in vegas when we go there this next year.. just me and the hubs looking crazy. I might even could get us some of our very own medals and tshirts made… I think I might be on to something. You’ve INSPIRED ME!


  9. julie16750

    “Running a race in Vegas sounds like a good idea until you get to Vegas because all you want to do is everything else but run.” – abso-f**king-lutely!

    I wore flats, still got blisters. Didn’t drink, still got sick. I truly believe it was the fire hydrant water they used for the water stations. I’m regretting being such a good girl and missing the awesome dance party y’all had.

    I too am done with RnR.

  10. Man that cluster at the end was the frickin worst!! I was freezing and thirsty for real water! Did you see the almost nekkid guy running in the Borat costume?

    Are you feeling okay now? There are a lot of people that are still sick.

    But I am so excited for MIAMI!! The weather should be fantastic then! Umm but I’m bringing my own water. Just sayin.

  11. Megan

    Wahhh this makes me nervous about the Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Pete Half I’m already signed up for. It’s the inaugural race so I guess I better prepare myself for some headaches now…. Really enjoyed the story, though. Running in Vegas sounds like a blast, but almost impossible to manage (I’d be the girl out drinking every night and eating all the greasy food in sight, too.) Maybe I’ll take that one off my bucket list… haha.

    • St. Pete won’t have the numbers LV did, so it’s got that going for it. Also, I think it’s a similar course as the Women’s half they have every year and that race runs like a charm. 🙂

  12. I just spent at least 15 seconds trying to figure out who that lady in the orange was. Whoops… you’re right behind her.

  13. so sorry about the calf. I’ve been there and that SUCKs. I did this race the very first year so it was smaller, but still really crowded…that’s the reason I am not doing the Miami ING half this year. I just don’t like being that crowded start to finish
    BUT hey the rest of your weekend rocked hard core!

  14. I’ve never ran a RnR race but I keep hearing they’re not very organized. I wanted to run the ING Miami but I’ll be in South Africa so that’s a no go. I’ve heard it’s an awesome race though!

  15. I want to do the Miami race next year – because January in Miami sounds fun, & I need some sort of training motivation. 😉 I’m super in for next year’s LV race. My plan is to fly in on Saturday, skip the partying, run on Sunday, & party my face off for the next few days. Do-able? 🙂

  16. Oh gosh, I can’t even imagine feeling like that in a mass group of non-moving people. I think I’d freak the eff out! Glad you at least made it out okay. I’ve done that limping pitiful walk through Vegas before, and it’s no fun.

  17. We crossed almost every name off our “runners to look/cheerlikecrazies for” list (think Where’s Waldo for races) I saw you guys just as you were went by! You def made it hard to miss you 🙂

  18. Soooooo you’re saying a big greasy burger before a half marathon isn’t a good idea? Shoot. It’d be nice if it were.
    I’ve read so many reviews about the race and poor management… that’s so frustrating. I would hope that most people were just running for the Vegas experience, rather than for time. I’d be super ticked if I had to wait in line at the finish. Blah to calf pain, btw.

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  20. Glad you had a great experience doing it. Sucks such a big named race is so poorly put together. Sux you felt like crap after, but…you were all healed up for this weekend. LOL! Or you fooled me! 😉 And seriously 2 hours and 18 minutes for it being a non-timed…walking through water stops…a lot of pain…you are badass! IMO! Great seeing you this weekend btw! 🙂

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