I have never been the biggest fan of Rock ‘N Roll races, but when the announcement came out about the Vegas race at night it did peak my interest. Add to that a weekend full of bloggers, a girl’s running trip and a chance to be sponsored by Team Refuel and I was all over it!
We had an event filled couple days leading up to the race (specifically the night before), but we kept race day pretty mellow. I woke up very appreciative of the fact that the race wasn’t for numerous hours. Page and I chilled on the couch snacking and blogging most of the day and started getting ready for the race around 2:45.
I had been careful with what I ate most of the day which ended up being the perfect amount: a latte, oatmeal, Clif bar, banana, crackers and another Clif bar right before we left the hotel. The grazing all day with foods I know sit well in my stomach was definitely was a good call. I felt like I had enough energy and wasn’t too full or too empty.
Once Page had on her sparkle shorts and I had on my Team Refuel outfit with some sparkly arm warmers and we went off to meet Beth and XLMIC to head to the start line. We took a cab which took a little longer than anticipated, but we got to the start with plenty of time. We hit the porta potties and then headed over to the bag check which was a disaster.
We hit the bathrooms one more time and made our way over to the madness that was the starting corrals. Page and I said bye to Marjorie and pushed our way as far as we could. It was so crowded but eventually we got some room when they started to let the corrals go one by one. We said bye, Page speeded off and I set off into the night.
I really had no time goal for this race, I just wanted to run my best for that day. I didn’t know how the whole weekend would affect me or how the night racing would sit, plus I haven’t been doing any specific half marathon training. I just wanted to run by feel, enjoy the sites around me which is exactly what I did (while also making sure I didn’t trip on something in the dark).
I started running and immediately thought how much fun I was having! Running down the Las Vegas strip in the night with all the lights glowing was just so much fun. The course ran straight down the strip for a few miles, did some loop sections around old Las Vegas, and then came back down the strip on the other side. I kept a pretty consistent pace for the first few miles.
Mile 1 – 8:06
Mile 2 – 8:04
Mile 3 – 7:57
Mile 4 – 8:09
I was snacking on my Shot Blocks every so often and grabbed a cup of water around mile 4. I am not good at drinking out of these cups while running and this totally messed up my breathing, but I got a couple sips in.
We started weaving around old Las Vegas which was really fun since it’s a part of the strip I had never seen. I was still trying to hold on to a decent pace and just zoning out to my music and all of the lights.
Mile 5 – 8:08
Mile 6 – 8:11
Mile 7 – 7:56
Mile 8 – 8:18
At this point I was getting a little tired, but wanted to try to hold on to a consistent pace. I continued to eat a Shot Block or two every mile or two which helped. I took another cup of water which I totally choked on and it messed me up for a little while. I typically run with a small handheld in races but for whatever reason decided I didn’t want to this time. It ended up being fine since it was chilly and I had been drinking water all day, but I might re-think that next time.
We continued our way back down the strip back to where we came from and I could see the Mandalay Bay way off in the distance. I saw Emily and Sarah between mile 10 and 11 which was a nice boost. The crowds of runners had thinned out a bit here by now so I tried to focus on keeping my pace consistent. I could feel myself getting tired and let myself slow down for two miles, but was able to pick it back up again at the end. Only 2 miles to go!
Mile 9 – 8:21
Mile 10 – 8:32
Mile 11 – 8:33
Mile 12 – 8:18
The Mandalay Bay inched closer and closer and I pushed a little harder. We made some turns and there were tons of spectators lining the course. Pretty soon I could see the finish line area and then the finish line came into view. I was definitely happy to be done!
Mile 13: 8:06
Last .22 (per Garmin): 1:45 (7:57 avg)
Garmin Total: 13.22 miles/1:47:29/8:12 avg pace
The first thing I thought of when I crossed the finish line was “that was so much fun!” Definitely not something I think very often after a race.
This definitely wasn’t my fastest half marathon, but I am not trained for a fast half marathon right now and I am proud of the effort I put out and that I actually pushed myself for what I could do today rather than just run for fun.
Official Race Results: 13.1 miles/1:47:29/8:16 avg pace
Age group: 82/3,177
This was a big race!
I met up with Team Refuel for some chocolate milk after the race which I downed. I seriously love the stuff and it was such an easy way to get in some calories right away since the real food didn’t happen forever.
The rest of the crew met up and we made our way over to the cab line, after some photos of course.
The cab line was so long and took forever, and at this point I had been waiting around outside for way too long. I was SO cold. Finally we got in a cab which took forever to get back to our hotel with all the traffic. We had big plans of getting dressed up in our party dresses and hitting the town, but the only thing that sounded good at that point was sweats and pizza, which is exactly what happened.
I definitely enjoyed myself a ton in this race and really thought it was such a fun course. It also could be a super fast course since it’s really flat. The running at night definitely made this race special and I would recommend it. The baggage check, corrals, and post race could be improved, but I knew those things would be a cluster when it comes to a race with 45,000 runners.
A big thank you to everyone on Team Refuel for sponsoring me for this race and making the trip happen for me. I am honored to get to be a part of such a fun team!
Next up: the Santa 5k race report and the rest of our Vegas trip!