Race Recap: Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon 2018

Las Vegas is a fun city. It is more fun in November when you get to run on the Las Vegas Strip in the evening! I’ve generally had a pretty good time at this race in the past, but the day before the race I came down with a cold. It was such bad timing because I was really looking forward to a great run through the city.

This was another turnaround trip…couldn’t have been faster! I flew in on Saturday morning and then I was back on the plane on Sunday night/Monday morning. My flight leaving to Denver was 3 hours late, so I slept on the floor of the airport since I was so exhausted.

This race is billed as one of the largest, most celebrated races of the Rock n Roll series. Their expo was huge compared to the other races in the circuit. There were some interesting vendors (potatoes and egg whites, anyone?) but for the most part, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the last minute.

After the expo and dinner, I began feeling ill so I headed back to my hotel room.

The hardest thing about this race is timing. It is an evening race, and I am a morning person, so timing my eating and rest is really difficult with this race. I also tried to keep this race as cheap as possible, so I booked Saturday night through Sunday morning at my hotel. After 12 noon, I had nowhere to go and I couldn’t tell if I was still full from breakfast or hungry enough for a lunch.

The race start was much different than other races in the RNR circuit. Here, you had to meet at a start line festival, where you could watch the band headliner (Capital Cities this year!) and grab a pre-race beer (YUCK!).


After the band finished, the corrals went off for a short walk to the finish line. The colored corrals moved every half hour (there were three), whereas the smaller corrals left every minute. It was well organized and most likely a response from the prior year where gridlock ensued on the way to the start. Really, the only other place I’ve ever been in that kind of crowd was on a packed nightclub floor! My corral was the last one, so the crowd had thinned out quite a bit.

At the start line festival, I was already beginning to question whether or not I should do the race. I considered pulling myself out and just hanging out at Planet Hollywood for my friends to finish. However, I just tried to tell myself that everything would be okay and that it was just one foot in front of the other…something I’ve done so many times before. By the time I got to the start, I knew that I should’ve just sat this one out.

It was maybe after mile 3 or so that I stopped to walk. The temperature had dropped significantly, and the wind picked up. Being whipped around and having the wind in your face while a cold is settling in is probably one of the top worst things that can ever happen to a runner. I race is almost a loop, so I would be passing the finish line in order to continue the race. Worst case scenario, I would just walk to the finish line area and leave the race to find some shelter.

However, my stubbornness got the worst of me. When I neared the finish line, I got a glimmer of hope. I saw an exit, but then again I also saw the gorgeous finish line. I figured I could keep going just a little while longer and take a lyft back if things got really bad.

By the time I got to mile 10 or so, I was ready to vomit and lay down. I was really dizzy and sick to my stomach. The wind, compounded with the cold night temps and my cold, was destroying my ability to enjoy the race. For some reason I never remember that RNR Las Vegas is a cold race. Even though I was wearing layers, I was still very cold.

My one highlight of this race was running through downtown (old) Las Vegas, and passing my wedding venue. I also learned that there was an Abbey Road, which was really neat.

The finish line couldn’t come any sooner than it did! Unfortunately the finish line chute is also about a half mile long. It also turned out that my friend flew in at the last minute to do the race. She finished the full marathon just a few moments before or after I finished my half marathon. I was in pretty bad shape and was ready to leave ASAP.

I had a drive-thru victory meal at In-n-Out and ate at my friend’s AirBnB. Afterwards, I warmed up in the shower and then headed out to my early morning flight at McCarran. Sleeping on the floor was both simultaneously awesome and awful at the same time. Regardless, I was back at work at 10am and didn’t have to burn any vacation time!


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