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Las Vegas RocknRoll course preview (guest post).

First off I’d like to thank Mizfit for this opportunity and for the help she gave in trying to find someone to run with me while I was in Las Vegas a month or so ago.

(MizFit note: It was tempting to hop a plane and run with Gene’ too (this was all pre-wrenching my back). Alas, I settled for begging for a guest post upon his return)

Although no one answered the call, her efforts were greatly appreciated! I am very happy to have bumped into her, if only in cyber-space.

A little back ground on me:

I am an RN working at a Veteran’s Hospital along the VT/NH border. I am married to my high school sweetheart, though we had an 18 year gap in our relationship. I have 2 step-sons, and we have one together. She has become my rock, my inspiration to be a better person, and has shown me forgiveness and acceptance that I never knew existed. I could go on and on, but this post is about running, so…..


I was unable to get a course map or even description from the RNR folks, but I (with the help of Adam) was able to locate a map from the 2009 event.

I can’t imagine that it would change much this year.

The course starts on the southbound side of the Strip, runs to what i imagined was the “welcome to Las Vegas” sign, then heads north.

While running NORTH, I noticed a very slight incline, but while headed south i didn’t notice it at all. if you are treadmilling at 1-2%, you’ll be set.

The road is a wide, 3 lane, mostly straight course, just like you see on TV.

While it will be very tempting to watch people on the street as you run by (as many of them will be watching YOU) save that enjoyment for AFTER the race, and concentrate on either finishing or a PR.

For me, this course has PR (current half marathon PR is 1:54:03) written ALL OVER IT (unless, of course, you stay up too late the night before…..)

At the northern end of the course, you get a little break from the glitz and glamor once you pass Wynn and Encore.

You’ll go past Riviera on your right (where my sister got married! woot!), then a break before the Stratosphere.

Here’s a caveat: the massive scale of things played horrible tricks on me.

When you are near Harrah’s and look north, you can see the Stratosphere, and it looks fairly close. it is nearly TWO MILES AWAY. Two. Miles.

Good thing is, though, by the time you reach it, you are almost at the turn around!

I ran the course in the wee small hours (3-4 am), so i didn’t actually run the neighbourhoods that were shown on the map.

Once you get past the Strat, things….change.

You can see the pawn shop from tv’s Pawn Stars on the right, and I think that you’ll loop around to the west (left) near there. No one knew I was out there, and even though i WAS wearing my ROAD ID, I didn’t feel comfortable running out there at that time of night.

When you cruise south, on your way back to the finish, it will seem that the hotels are just stacked on top of each other like a big clump of leggos.

Start to pick up your pace around Caesar’s Palace, and really kick it in when you get even with Planet Hollywood (which is on your left, at this point).

If you can, get there a day early to get a lay of the land.

Find out where the finish line is, and then walk backward (not actually BACKWARD, but….) along the course to find a good spot to start your final kick. keep in mind that the scale changes distance perception. Pay attention to splits and mile markers.

This was my first trip to LV, and I had no real prep for it.

I have travelled before, and have my routines, but wasn’t really prepared like I thought I was. Here are some other non-running things to keep in mind for the first timer:

1) it is EXPENSIVE to do anything except drink alcohol in Vegas. Coffee: 5 bucks. 3 foot tall Margarita, 24/7? 99 cents. Oh, and $5 Footlongs at Subway? NOT in Vegas.

2) there are only TWO running stores on the strip. Niketown and Adidas. Niketown is in the mall attached to Caesar’s (enter casino, turn right, keep going until you are in the mall. keep going, take left at big fountain, keeeeeeeep going.) Adidas is between Planet Hollywood and MGM Grand, same side, right on the Strip.

3) go out at night after 8, bring your camera, and just walk. you will see some amazing things. please take pictures. I took pictures of THINGS, and not people. I wish I had people pics.

4) enjoy the experience. i can be pretty…reserved…but had a good time watching people, laughing at and with strangers, and it was surprisingly enjoyable.

I look forward to reading about your experiences! Stop on by my blog leave me a comment with a link to your blog and I’ll put up an index of RNR LV Runners!

Keep on running!


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21 Responses to “Las Vegas RocknRoll course preview (guest post).”

  1. Trophy Husband says:

    Reading this made me start to get really excited about the event! And also just for hanging in Vegas. Woo hoo!

  2. Shelley says:

    This post made me both excited and tired, imagining the course :) Looking forward to the long walk (being realistic here)

    Great post, thank you!

  3. Fat Daddy says:

    It sounds incredible. So much that I’d like to be there. Except for that whole 1/2 marathon thing.

    The strip, the alcohol, the gambling, all sounds good.

    Except for that whole 13 miles thing.

    Maybe I’ll come and run in an Elvis jumpsuit. It is Vegas after all.

    • Ryan @NoMoreBacon says:

      From what I hear you’d be dressed mildly. You should come! I’ll be there! We can slog it with one of those 3 foot beverages!

  4. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    I guess running this would make me forget about LV as I would be trying to breathe! ;-) I am not a fan of Vegas. The smoking everywhere & just other stuff but you are right, great people watching!

  5. Ryan @NoMoreBacon says:

    This is so awesome! Some great tips and it always shocks me how close the buildings seem and how far apart they really are. Whenever I’m in Vegas (more and more lately for some reason) I always think, “Oh, I’ll just head next door to the Bellagio.” 30 MINUTES LATER I actually get there. It’s bizarre.

    And I also plan on doing my people watching next week when I’m there.

    Thanks for a great post Gene!

  6. merrymishaps says:

    Thanks for the tips! Though I’m sure the whole scale issue is still going to mess with me :)

    I’ve never been to Vegas and am excited to run it!

  7. Shelley B says:

    Great idea to scope out the course beforehand - I especially like the part about walking back from the finish line to know when to start your kick (as I started mine WAY too soon on my race last Sat.)! Wish I could be there for this event.

  8. Karen says:

    I’ve never been to Vegas. One of many places on my list, but not high up there.

  9. Joanna says:

    One other tip - surprisingly it’s COLD at 6am in Vegas in December. I ran this course last year and the water at the water stops was often frozen over. Make sure you come with layers!
    I’ll be out there again this year. See you in December!

  10. Charlene Ragsdale says:

    Nice post! Great lay of the land.

    I live in Vegas and please allow me to gently correct you on some prices

    The subways are $5 for foot longs in Vegas (I eat there regularly).

    Coffee - not all are $5 - only at Starbucks which is the National price for a Venti coffee. I have bought a cup of coffee in McDonald’s, etc - all for less than $1

    Vegas isn’t by far more expensive than any other city. Can I say “NYC” But don’t count on anything for free (or Comped out - unless you gamble/game in a casino)

    Our city is great - enjoy your time and I will see you at the Start or Finish Line!

    Viva Las Vegas!

  11. Jenn says:

    I just blogged about my trip to Vegas last weekend. I’m not a runner, I went there to compete in taekwondo. You’re right nothing is cheap. I’m also really reserved too and I find people watching to be the best. We used our iPhones to take pictures. We could pretend like we were texting. ;-)

  12. gene says:

    thanks for the great responses!
    I am sure that cheaper food is to be found, but when AFTER i had my sub made, i was shocked at the price. there was a tiny sticker right near the register that said something like “this subway does not participate in the $5 foot long promotion”. bummer. i wish that i had gone to the golden arches for coffee. rats.

    thanks again, MIZ, for the opportunity!

  13. Miz says:

    thank YOU!

  14. Julie @ Hotlegs Runner says:

    I am so excited now! We will be there 2 days before and that should be enough time for me to check out the course =)

  15. Reen says:

    Sounds like a GREAT event! And just the seeing everything in Vegas would be great for me. Maybe next time.

    Miz, looks like I might be sidelined yet again from running. Just started a week ago, then took a really hard fall at the skating rink last night. Knee is nasty swollen and bruised. Keeping it iced and elevated. Hoping that maybe, just maybe, I’ll at least get to walk the 5K in my neighborhood on the 16th, but may not be in the cards.

    That’s all right. Plenty more events when it’s healed. Oy!

  16. tricia says:

    I want to run Vegas!

    are you sure you don’t want to run San Antonio? (Gene?)

    • gene says:

      hey! i’d LOVE to run in TX! that would be super cool. hmmm…how to swing it, how to swing it?

  17. Pubsgal says:

    Hey Gene! Thanks for the great course overview. A gal I talked to at my last triathlon used to live in Vegas, and she said that the course is nice and flat. (Whew!) I’m looking forward to the big weekend!

  18. Patrick says:

    I love LV. Last time I was there it was 116F… walking was a chore. Running in that, um, I’d have to be on fire and there’d need to be a cold forzen daqueri nearby to run into.

    A good weekend to all!


  1. Tweets that mention preview of 2010 las vegas rock n roll half marathon course | MizFitOnline -- Topsy.com - 07. Oct, 2010

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