Race Report: 2011 Rock ‘N Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

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.

Before
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After
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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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
Overall: 2,066/33,123
Women: 518/21,051
Age group: 82/3,177

This was a big race!

Sarah, Monica, me, Page and Janae 
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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. 

Me, Beth, Janae and Sarah
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The rest of the crew met up and we made our way over to the cab line, after some photos of course.

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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.  

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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!

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39 Responses to Race Report: 2011 Rock ‘N Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

  1. Courtney (Pancakes and Postcards) December 5, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    Great recap, Aron! Sounds like you guys had a great time and it was fun to read about your race. Great work and I can’t wait to read about the santa thing. :)

  2. XLMIC December 5, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    Dude… you totally left out the best part… Cabbie McScreechy and his $45-for-2-miles ride :P I totally got that on video ;-) You had such an awesomely steady run! You did it right, Aron…that’s how a FunRun should be… FUN!

    • Aron December 6, 2011 at 9:51 am #

      Ahhh yes I did leave that out! There are so many funny stories from the weekend, I think I need a post of random stories not to forget ;)

  3. Rena @ milehogger.blogspot.com December 5, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    That’s a great time for not having trained specifically for a half. Last time I’ve been in Vegas, I remember the air being really smoky from the cigarette smoke. Was the air a problem for the race?

    • Aron December 6, 2011 at 9:52 am #

      The air inside sucked, but being outside in the cool night air was great :) I think being inside so much definitely affected my breathing this weekend though! I don’t sound great right now :-/

  4. Nancy December 5, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    Awesome job without even having trained specifically for it! A night half sounds like so much fun. I’m going to go on the search for a night time race in the Midwest. It sounds like it would be a blast :)

  5. Alyssa December 5, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    Ohhhhh my! SO FUN! And so fast — for not having trained specifically for a fast half, you certainly did a fast half! AWESOME JOB!!! So glad you had a fun time! :)

  6. Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl December 5, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    What an awesome race you did! Fabulous racing outfits to go with. But I have to say… doesn’t sound like you partied it up enough in LV. ;)

  7. Jess @ Blonde Ponytail December 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    Aron! You rock and I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad we could hang and dance and run! I hope to see you soon in another destination race!

  8. Tim F December 5, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    Awesome running (especially for not being trained for a fast marathon). Glad you had a great time in LV. Great reports about it.

  9. abbi December 6, 2011 at 4:02 am #

    Great recap, looks like Vegas was a lot of fun!

  10. RunToTheFinish December 6, 2011 at 6:20 am #

    i ran the inaugural race there and did love running the strip. It does sound like the post race might have been a bit nutz, which wouldn’t be my fav thing.

    still sad i didn’t get to see everyone! But next week I’m in san fran!!

  11. Lauren December 6, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    Congratulations!! I’m glad you had a great race and (more importantly) an awesome time in Vegas!. I was a little jealous seeing all the Tweets this past weekend and reading the posts. It’s also been interesting to read people’s recaps because it sounds like not everyone had the best experience with RnRLV. I’m glad you did! Congrats again on a great race. Love the arm warmers!

  12. janae@hungryrunnergirl.com December 6, 2011 at 7:48 am #

    Seriously….you two had the best arm warmers I have ever seen…SEXY! I really think that the pre-race dancing is necessary for our races from now on. You rocked it girl! I loved seeing emily and sarah along the way too! Hope you are having a great day!

  13. RoseRunner December 6, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    45,000 people! nuts. That sounds like everyone who was in Vegas that weekend. I’m sure I’m repeating everyone, but the arm warmers truly are somethin special, I hope they make an appearance for more just Vegas. Cause let’s face it, Aron, they are SO YOU ;)

  14. RoseRunner December 6, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    (OH and DUH — great race! excellent, steady and strong pacing. Maybe there really is something to this pre-race dancing thing, since you all pretty much rocked it)

  15. marlene December 6, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    That seriously sounds so fun!!! I hope I have a chance to try it out! Congrats!!!

    Sweats & pizza definitely sounds perfect after a night race.

  16. Gillian December 6, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Hi Aron,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I really enjoy it. I’m a slow runner at the moment but your speedy races are an inspiration.

    I have one specific question for you. How in the world do you manage to eat a Shot Block while running? I tried them when I did the Niagara Half in October and I couldn’t manage to eat and breathe at the same time! I had to eat them on my walking breaks and even then had trouble chewing, swallowing, and trying to get my heart rate down all at the same time.

    How in the world do you do it?

    • Aron December 6, 2011 at 9:53 am #

      Hah I don’t know, I just eat them. I know some people who cut them in half so they are smaller and easier to chew? I practice on training runs though and always just eat as I run so I am used to it.

  17. Meghann December 6, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    Yay! I’m glad you guys had a great race! I loved running the strip at night and never had a problem before or after the race, but I’ve heard horror stories from so many runners who had issues. It’s a shame they didn’t have the same great experience we had! Now you STILL need to come to a race in Florida! Maybe we’ll get to see each other for more than a minute next time!

  18. Candice @ Sailing on Paper December 6, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    Congratulations on a really great race! From the recaps I’ve seen, it looks like people have mostly had a good experience.

  19. ShortSkirtsandScience December 6, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    Sounds like a fun race! Love your race outfit too!

  20. Page December 6, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    You know this by now, but this was one of the best weekends I’ve EVER had. Thanks for being my partner in crime and I can’t wait to do it again soon!

  21. Jen December 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    That blinging medal is enough motivation for me to run! LOL… such a cool looking medal. I definitely want to run this race — either next year or the year after. I have been reading all the recaps, and it sounds like everyone had a blast!

    Congrats on a great race!

  22. Beth December 6, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    Nice job! A night race seems extra challenging, but it looks like you took the right approach and had a lot of fun!

  23. Christine December 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Great race and I LOVE your arm warmers! So Vegas!! ;)

  24. Rachel December 6, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    ahhh it sounds like it was amazing!! what a fun weekend!

  25. dennis December 6, 2011 at 11:57 pm #

    Sucks that we missed each other in Vegas. But glad you had a great time! I wish my medal were blue instead of pink. Haha.

    Oh, and I’ve been unintentionally humming Phantom all day. Gah!

  26. Ali December 7, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    “I really had no time goal for this race, I just wanted to run my best for that day.”

    I am in love with that. And you.

    Congratulations on a solid race! I’m so so so glad we got to meet this weekend. Come visit NYC sometime soon, yes? We’d love to have you.

    • Aron December 9, 2011 at 7:58 am #

      I have never been to NYC and have alwayssssss wanted to go. Someday soon I hope!

  27. PJ December 7, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Great run & I love the sparkle wear! It sounds like there were some issues with the race organization, from reading other Blogs, but I’m seriously lovin your race medal & want one myself! Maybe next year…………

  28. Angela @ MyPinkyToes December 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    You did awesome! I’m having so much fun reading everyone’s race reports from Vegas. I’d love to go someday!!! You had an amazing race, and I can’t believe you did a 5K before the half! You definitely rock!

  29. Susan - Nurse on the Run December 8, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    Where did you find those arm warmers?? They’re amazing! And definitely perfect for Vegas. Congrats on a great half and having fun while doing it…so jealous of your weekend!

    • Aron December 9, 2011 at 7:58 am #

      At the expo :) I think the gypsy runner booth maybe?

  30. Steph December 8, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    I am also wondering where you found those amazing arm warmers!!! Congrats on your race!

    • Aron December 9, 2011 at 7:57 am #

      At the expo! I think it was the gypsy runner booth :)

  31. SDrunner December 8, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    Sometimes running races with no set goals is nice since you don’t have that pressure to hit a certain time. It looks like you still ran well and had fun! It doesn’t sound like you had as many issues as other runners, fortunately. I’ve done a few runs in the dark, but no races. I think what helps me run fast is the fear that someone is chasing me, so random noises just startle me throughout!

  32. Dan December 9, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    I’m trying to figure this out. My official time was 1:48:02. I started in corral 3. Clock time was 1:50:00. But it showed I came in 1994 overall! How could that be?! You ran faster and showed a lower overall finish. :\

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