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Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Las Vegas, Nevada
United States
Competitor Group, Inc.
55F / 13C
Total Time = 2h 44m 9s
Overall Rank = 21761/33123
Age Group = F30-34
Age Group Rank = 2608/4055
Pre-race routine:

*note* Funny how in Climate, there's no "night" to choose*


I registered this race in January (it was a big discount!), fully thinking that I'll be much more trained. Couldn't be more wrong. If I'd known ahead of time what my schedule would have been, I wouldn't have registered this race, and instead do a couple 5k or 10k instead. is what it is, so again, I approached this race as a "fun to run down The Strip at night" race without expectations. The weeks leading up to the race was horrible training-wise. I was NOT at all nearly trained as well as last year. No thanks to school portfolio classes and Team Production. There were so many days that I just felt like a bath or going to bed was better than going for a run. I *have* to change that mindset next year.

The day of the race: It was interesting because this race is at night time, I ended up a little bit more fidgety than took a while for the time to go down and start getting ready to get out of my house. I wanted to use my iPod that I've been training with to keep my mind off of things, and lo and behold, it decides to break down. Tried everything, couldn't charge it. Ooops! My fiance kept insisting that I leave much earlier, but I told him that I really don't want to wait around for a couple hours. In a hindsight, I should have listened *shh, don't tell him...his ego will get huge*. Regardless, I headed out the door got about two miles down...and I started to literally to hyperventilate...I forgot my wallet. Drove home, frantically searched for my was in the car. BIG D'OH! Drove back, and tried to get on Tropicana (the street intersects with Las Vegas Blvd, but that's how I get to MGM). The street was in complete chaos with traffic. Damn! Quickly looked at the map on my phone, and found a back way. At this time I was getting very worried that I wouldn't even make it to the was about 4:20 at this point...the race starts at 5:30.

Parked at MGM, hurriedly got to the hotel across the street, and got on the Tram to Mandalay Bay. Asked 15 different people, "where's the gear check?", none knew. It was just NUTS!
Got to Gear check, and handed over my bag and started to proceed to the corrals. I needed to go to number 23. Ended up at corral 12, it was just packed, and IMPOSSIBLE for me to get to corral 23. NO crowd control at all, so everyone was trying to get to the corrals all at once. BAD decision RnR! Got myself in the corral and ready to go!
Event warmup:

I think I was pretty much warmed up after a lot of walking getting there. I took the stairs on purpose instead of the escalator to stretch out my legs. That's it. I don't like stretching cold muscles.
  • 2h 44m 9s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 32s  min/mile

Last year, I remember I ran to MGM, and was happy that I completed a mile without walking. This year, I ran 8 miles non-stop. Even though I had a small PR, but this is a HUGE improvement over last year. My endurance is getting much better. Speed will come along in time.

From the get-go, it was ABSOLUTELY crowded due to the fact so many people were in the wrong corrals, including me, so there was a lot of faster runners that WANT to run fast, and a lot of slower runners that really supposed to stay in the back (like me again). However, I was able to keep up with the crowd for a while.

The first two miles felt really slow, but it was pretty fast for me though. I ignored the mile markers. They have it set up differently. 1 mile, then 5K, then 6 miles, then 8 miles..etc. So I couldn't really set up my lap times, however, I do wished that I set my watch to lap every mile.

Anyways, after two miles, I settled down in my groove and just kept going. It was hard not to because the sheer number of people on the course. I ditched my $3.99 sweatshirt I got from Goodwill a few hours earlier, since I knew I was planning on ditching it anyways. Took off my arm warmers at about mile 3 (tied it on my spibelt...BEST thing I ever got!) I ran to get water. Took in 1/2 gel every half hour or so. Never stopped until mile 8. Last year, my legs were hurting at mile 6, then walked, but it hurt more than walking. This time was different. My legs were alright actually, but started to feel like jelly by mile 8, no soreness, yet. At this time I started to think about my secret goal...2:40. I could do it, but it all depends on how I do for the remaining 5 miles. The remaining 5 miles hurt. Ran as much as I could, and started to bargain with myself, "Reach Stratosphere, and you can walk." walk, "Reach Rivera and you can walk", walk. You get the idea. Around this time, the course was getting very crowded again because so many people are walking and while I was getting a good groove in and ignoring my small quad soreness (it took a lot of me to ignore was just a little twang, not bend over pain, so I can push it. I gotta stop "stop completely when you feel little soreness). I kept weaving in and out around people, and it was driving me nuts!! MOVE people! I don't understand why a group of people (like 5 or 7 people just stop and walk in the middle of the course forcing the runners in the back to weave. MOVE TO THE SIDE OF THE ROAD you F*E*@#$! I think this is where I lost a lot of time trying to weave around people at my pace, but I couldn't. My legs were good, but my feet were killing me, it felt like I was on hot coals.

Aid stations were alright, but again, it was a nice big mess. They said there will be Cytomax. Only had it once on the course, they ran out. They had gels and water, but I felt a tiny bit dizzy and some tiny cramps in my quads. Not enough electrolytes. I did buy a Nathan bottle that I can hold in my hand, but because I never ran with it before...nothing new on race day...should have done it anyway. Last year they provided salt at the start of the race, this year, none. Should have brought my own. The last 5 miles started to take a toll on me. My nose was running (just coming down with a cold, and I didn't give a hoot who was watching me, but kept wiping my nose), mental games, etc. Took me 40 minutes to do the last 5k, definitely where I could have taken off 4 minutes of my time, but way better than last year!

Finally saw the big flashing signs of Mandalay Bay...two more miles to go! My feet was hurting more than anything, I mustered up energy to just ignore it and run. Saw that I missed my time goal less than .5 mi away. Took all energy to just run faster because I just want to be done. Miscalculated the distance of the finish line. KEEP GOING KEEP GOING was my mantra, PUSH IT PUSH IT. Passed the finish line, and I was yelling, "YEEEEESSSSSSSHHHH!!"

Received my medal. Very nice looking, and it glows in the dark!

After that, legs decided NOT to work! Kept moving around and got some water, cytomax, sipped slowly as I felt like I was ready to hurl. Took in a banana, felt alright. Then...I started to feel like I'm freezing. Quickly found a space blanket and wrapped myself, but my teeth were chattering. Funny how I wore short sleeved for the majority of the race, then now I'm cold.

Went to gear check, and changed my shoes. Saw I got blister on my toe when I was massaging my feet. Started to feel better, and started to get going to my car.
What would you do differently?:

Two things: More training and bring more electrolytes. I don't think the gels were enough, should have brought Shot Blocks or something besides gels.

Other than that I had a great race!
Post race
Warm down:

It took F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to get to my car...two hours in fact. It was just NUUUUUTTTTS!! Some people were asking what hotel I was heading to. I said, Home...I live here..10 minutes away.

I stretched out my quads, but they felt fine and very flexible. I was quite surprised by this. Last year they were hurting BAD!!

After getting to the wrong parking lot at New York, New York (I was tired, and wasn't thinking), hauled ass to get to MGM. Got in my car, went out the back way and got home in 10 minutes.

Took a hot bath, chocolate milk and just reeled in on the day! I put lotion on my feet to soak overnight, and said, "Thank you feet. Thank you quads!"

Woke up this morning...only little twangs of soreness on my feet and right side glutes and very little soreness on right calves. I think it's my shoes because the sore areas are all on right side. Very little...still felt sick to my stomach though.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training. That's it! oh yeah, and all of those damn walkers.

Event comments:

Last year was way better than this year. They capped it at 20,000 racers. This year? 44,000 racers. The course cannot handle that many people, seriously. Imagine if many people had their family members there and such. So for everyone in this race, I wouldn't be surprised if there was about 60 to 70,000 people related to this race. There was NOT enough volunteers, although there was a lot, but not enough to handle this number of people. They had to have people at certain stations (such as Gear check), and sacrifice some areas. After the race, it was VERY very difficult to get back to the tram. The hotel was not prepared for all the people (and not only that, but the OTHER people staying at the hotel, or going to see shows and such). It was just CRAZY!!! Some people were getting pissed off at me for not pushing people, and I'm like, "Dude, I'm not going to shove people just so you can get there a minute faster!"

I *should* have just gone outside, and WALKED to MGM! I would have made it home way earlier.

If RnR does this next year and cap it off at 44,000. I ain't doing it. NO WAY. 20,000 maybe, but I doubt it.

Only gels on the course. Kind of disappointed because I was hoping there would be pretzels or cookies. I was kind of starving for something else besides gels.

The course layout...not a good idea. They had the marathoners start and go out around town and do the last 13 miles on The Strip...which means, they would be running WITH the Half Marathoners. Of course, with the sheer number of people doing the half, they pretty much took over the course. The poor cyclists were trying to get the half people to MOVE TO THE RIGHT of the cones (which all of them has been knocked down), as the left side was for the marathoners.

In a way I can't blame RnR because they were listening to the complaints of the marathon course. Would you rather be on The Strip the last 13 miles with a LOT of people cheering on you or last 13 miles all off The Strip where there's barely anyone at the end? Hence why they reversed the course. Personally, I think they should just have RnR Half Marathon. No Marathon. The course is perfect for Half, just not a marathon.

Anyhoo...I highly doubt that I'll do this one again.

Last updated: 2011-12-05 12:00 AM
02:44:09 | 13.1 miles | 12m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/4055
Overall: 0/33123
Performance: Good
5k - 35:35 - 11:27 10k - 1:13:03 - 11:45 (37:28 for 5k) 10 mi - 2:03:06 - 12:18 after that...fell apart. :-)
Course: Flat, out on The Strip, to side streets to Fremont street and back on The Strip. Same course as last year, but reversed. Instead of heading on the right side of Las Vegas, we went on the left.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2011-12-05 11:15 AM

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Sin City
Subject: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

2011-12-05 11:34 AM
in reply to: #3926734

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Frisco, TX
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

Great race report!  Awesome job for a HM on light training!

2011-12-05 12:42 PM
in reply to: #3926773

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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon
Congrats on a good job with minimal training.. And surviving the chaos!
2011-12-05 5:47 PM
in reply to: #3926734

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Sendai, Japan
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon
Sounds like one crazy race DJ.  44k is way too many people.  Congrats on getting through it and on your PR!!
2011-12-05 6:37 PM
in reply to: #3927314

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Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon
Wow, that sounds crazy. Congratulations on the PR!
2011-12-05 11:59 PM
in reply to: #3926734

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san francisco
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon
Great job out there, DJ! Sounds like one big mess, but you still PR'ed...superb!

2011-12-06 5:38 AM
in reply to: #3926734

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon
Strong work DJ!!!  Glad to see you survived the masses.
2011-12-06 9:24 AM
in reply to: #3926734

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Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon
Great job on running strong to the end.  Sorry about the # of people.  I can relate.  My 5k over the weekend was a disaster and I only had to deal w/ 3 miles of it.  Keep training and getting stronger!
2011-12-06 11:47 AM
in reply to: #3926734

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Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

Congrats on your finish!  Was there also and had a very similar experience.

*The Expo was awesome, spent hours and hours there.

*The gear check was supposed to be next to the corrals, but when we got there, had to walk 3/4 of a mile inside a hotel to drop my bag, then back.

*By the time we got back to corrals, no crowd control whatsoever, just way too packed.  I started about 5 corrals behind where I was supposed to be, no hope of moving up, so just chatted with the folks by me. 

*They stopped the wave start at some point where they were taking 45 seconds between waves around corral 10 and just went to rolling start.

*No volunteers at the corrals directing traffic.

*First 4-5 miles were wall to wall, I trained at 9 minute miles and was in the 11 range even dodging through traffic as best I could.  Hundreds of walkers towards the front end of the pack (I'm sure they got stuck there, so not blaming them), thinned out okay after than, then miles 8-13 were good.

*Water, Cytomax, GU stations held up well, considering the numbers.

*Felt badly for the full marathoners merging into the chaos at mile 14. 

*Bands were good, fun, the Strip was great at night.  Lots and lots of crazy running Elvises, Spidermen, Pink Gorillas, and generally odd costumes.

*Finish congested badly again, but they did a good job of getting people through.

*Going back through the hotel to bag check was a struggle for me, but made it.  Was worse for those caught in a major show getting out about 15 minutes after me.  So gear check had runners, families, and show patrons.

*So really unique race, fun.  Great expo.  Need to cap entrants or learn from their experience, stick to their wave intervals, and improve crowd control.

Interested to hear what others had to say about it.

2011-12-06 11:50 AM
in reply to: #3928274

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, Minnesota
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon
Good to know about the crowds. I have always been interested in this race, but it sounds like I should have gone a few years ago.     Start line chaos is one thing, but to still struggle with crowds 8 miles into the race is unforgivable.   Congrats on the pr!
2011-12-06 3:04 PM
in reply to: #3928277

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Scottsdale, AZ
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

BikerGrrrl - 2011-12-06 10:50 AM Good to know about the crowds. I have always been interested in this race, but it sounds like I should have gone a few years ago.     Start line chaos is one thing, but to still struggle with crowds 8 miles into the race is unforgivable.   Congrats on the pr!

I think it should be noted that this wasn't the case for those starting in the first few corrals.  I dealt with some congestion but nothing what it sounds like was in the back.  I think there's plenty of blame to go around, both with the RD/Competitor AND the individuals participating in the half.  Corrals probably should be qualified with such a large event but then again, I haven't ran a qualifying time in a year and I would have been unjustly stuck in the back.  From my perception in corral 2, too many people waited too long to even get to the starting line and then were stuck in a traffic jam trying to get to their corrals, so they just jumped in wherever they could.  I was blown away by the number of people just arriving with 20 minutes until the start.  Add to that plenty of people not being honest about their own abilities and it was a recipe for a starting line disaster.

I think the bigger problem is going to be next year.  IF they do not mandate qualified corral assignments, even more people are going to lie about their pace in order to avoid the traffic jam in the back which will only cause a mess even earlier in the start. 

Edited by thebigb 2011-12-06 3:06 PM

2011-12-06 5:35 PM
in reply to: #3928590

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Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

"I think there's plenty of blame to go around, both with the RD/Competitor AND the individuals participating in the half.  Corrals probably should be qualified with such a large event"

Agreed.  Live and learn, hopefully they will make adjustments.  For all the massive logistics involved, they nailed 90% of it, no reason they can't make it better.  I do think even if you fix the half-marathon portion, merging in the full marathoners at any point into those numbers is going to end badly.

"I was blown away by the number of people just arriving with 20 minutes until the start."

Also agree.  Some just planned poorly, others had no idea how long it would take to get from A to B.  One friend told me that he got to the start line 50 minutes prior to start, but then had to reroute to the new bag check location and got back 20 minutes before the start.  Another said it took him 1 hour 40 minutes to get from the Wynn to the Mandalay. 


2011-12-06 5:59 PM
in reply to: #3928809

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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon
I left the bag check area 45 min before the start of the race. The way we approached the corrals made it impossible to see which way to go. By the time we could see a number we realized we the corral numbers were going up, so we turned around. Then was stuck in a massive jam of people trying together to their corral. I was supposed to be in corral 9 but finally managed to get near the barricade and climb into corral 15 after the race had started. So even with sufficient time getting into the corrals was an issue.
2011-12-06 7:26 PM
in reply to: #3926734

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

Congrats on your finish!

started in Corral 4, made it there 30 minutes prior and didn't have an issue getting in (walked down from PH).. didn't experience the chaos that most did so was lucky although could see how it could happen. Agreed on the way too many runners and how they merged the half and full together. In Nashville we split off at mile 10-11 and they rejoin coming opposite directions, but don't ever run together again (that I remember, unless we do at the bridge, i can't recall honestly, but no such merge issue there). I "think" if they would've kept with the delayed corral starts (say 1-2 minutes per corral, again.. like Nashville), then it would've spread things out a bit, but not solved the entire issue.. Other thing would be getting the last corral out before the top runners came across due to the way the finish is setup, so not sure if it's plausible or if they would have to change the finish/start method. Was a good race, PR'd at 1:44 on light training, hope to get back in 2013 with my wife and her friend running.. but told them they need to be below or close to 2 hours to avoid the mess. And yes, cap it at 35k.. I think there was a lot more people that did this just to enjoy the strip that typically wouldn't do a 1/2, saw a lot of people that HAD to have cut the course just no way they were so far ahead of me at certain points with the pace they were running in comparison (and i'm not fast).

HOpe they address the issues next year, has the opportunity to be a great race if they can figure it out.

2011-12-06 8:17 PM
in reply to: #3926734

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Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

congrats DJ.  crazy race.  i can't imagine what it was like if last year when we ran was 1/2 the peeps.  i thought that was way to crowded. 

keep up the awesome work!

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