Race report: Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half

For a change of pace, I ventured to Las Vegas to run my first race outside of BC. The premise for this half marathon, the first in Vegas under the “Rock ‘n’ Roll” series, is a simple out and back on the famous Las Vegas Blvd., aka The Strip. This course is as flat as a pancake, but not ideal, in my opinion, to attempt a personal best. The reason for that is the immense number of people who’ve signed up to run this race, and the half in particular. All told, there were almost 30,000 people who’ve signed up to run either the full or the half marathon.

The race experience was great, for the most part: I was there early for the first day of package pickup (Friday), and also picked up a pair of shoes for what is essentially a bargain, even factoring in the exchange rate. I started Saturday with a group run of Canadians that went to the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. There was even a costumed Mountie with Canadian flag.

Leading the Canadian contingent!

Canadians invade Vegas!

Sunday was the day of the race. A 6:15am start, but only if you’re actually up front. I didn’t start until 6:45, and by then, I had been outside for about an hour, and I was freezing. It was just above 0°C (32°F), and I clearly was not prepared for this: just shorts and three layers on top: singlet, tech shirt, and the custom shirt I had made for this race. Once I got started, I warmed up, but when I finished, 2:19:49 later, I was cold again. Thank goodness for those space blankets!

Holding up the medal after rocking the Strip!

Would I do this one again? Oh yes, it’s inevitable, as long as the organizers keep it to that time of year, as it falls near my birthday, so any excuse to run in Vegas!