I was pretty excited about this race. It was my first time running in Las Vegas and my first time running back to back races.
Yes, I was planning to run a half marathon the next day…. for the Bling, of course and the challenge of it.
I have never backed away from a challenge (Spoiler alert: all 13.1 miles were a challenge!!!)
Anyway, I arrived in Vegas the day before the race (and gained 3 hours!!). After checking into my hotel, I immediately headed (well after I figured out where the Monorail was) to the expo. No problems at all. Packet pick-up was a breeze (easier than getting into my hotel room.)
The expo was huge!!! I did a lot of sampling but only bought some Gu.
Race day was a busy one. As they say “no rest for the weary.”
Since my roomie was not arriving until the afternoon, I planned to take a bus tour of Red Rock Canyon. Best decision ever. It was amazing. We made loads of stops and there was hiking available at many (nothing too strenuous).
When the tour was over, I met my roomie, Marcia at the hotel and then accompanied her to the expo. On the way back to the hotel, we stopped for pizza as our pre-race meal.
We had perfect weather for this evening race (well, maybe a little too warm) and was able to wear my planned outfit.
The Tropicana was the perfect hotel choice because we were the first stop on the monorail and had no problems getting on right away.
We got off at the SLS Hotel stop which was near where the 5k Race started. (If you know Vegas, “near” is relative).
We wandered for a bit until we found the Gear Check area where I left a bag with a long sleeved shirt and jacket for after the race. This was also our agreed pre and post race meet-up spot.
As you can see from the course map, the race does not take place on the strip but one block over.
The start area was organized by colored corrals and then by numbered waves (according to your predicted finish time. If you look at the group photo, you’ll see that I was alone in the gray corral. The others were in wave 6, corral purple and I was in wave 9.
So we separated at the start but planned meet up again after the race.
The waves each started with a count down. I had to wait about 15 minutes, I think. Everyone was bubbling with excitement. There were lots of costumes and music. Since it was ONLY a 5k, I was very relaxed. Many of the runners were also running a race the next day or relatives of runners or just walkers. It was mixed bag which made it a challenge at times during the race.
My plan for the race was…no plan. I thought I would walk the whole thing but when I was the only one in the second corral, I decided to just run slowly so I didn’t have to make everyone wait a long time to go out to dinner after.
And that’s what I did. I enjoyed the music, laughed at the costumes, and weaved around the walkers to eventually cross the finish line.
I thought it would be around 35 minutes so I was pleasantly surprised that I finished under 30 minutes.
As soon as I got my medal, water and some snacks, I made a beeline to Gear Check to meet up with fellow 5kers Marcia, Tricia, her hubby, Greg, as well as, Kim and Mary Beth (who would be running with us the next day.)
With some husbands in tow, we all headed for a LONG stroll to find a restaurant for dinner.
What I liked about the race:
- Smooth packet pick-up
- Well organized race location, gear check, start, signs, etc.
- Crowd support
- Enthusiastic participants
- Running with friends is the best
- The medal
- Almost perfect weather
- Goo Goo Dolls concert afterward (although we were too hungry to stay)
- Free Beer (although I didn’t partake in that either)
What I didn’t enjoy:
- Would have preferred to run along the strip. The course was not exciting.
- Charcoal grey race tee (for a night race??) How about a brightly-colored shirt?
- The only water stop was at mile 2. Why not at the turn around? Vegas is soooo dry. I was parched.
All in all, I loved the experience. I am glad that I decided to run the RnR Vegas 5k. This was my slowest 5k in years but who cares. I am pretty happy with how it turned out.