Yep this picture kinda says it all. ELECTRIFYING
If you read my earliar post. Competitor was promising a great event for this race in Vegas. One that had been on my bucket list for awhile. Excitement was building as we started our check-in at Luxor. After a quick change in rooms to get one with a bathtub (RunnerProbs) my best running bud Francine and I set out for the Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center by taxi to claim our Runner Perks wristband so we could get our weekend started off right. Packet pickup was a breeze but with no map to tell you what vendors was where the expo was a bit chaotic. People were everywhere. As I looked over peoples heads to see the booths ahead a lightbulb went off “MEB”!!!. Meb was to be speaking at 1pm. I quickly looked at my watch and it was 1:15pm. I told Francine we must find the stage where he was speaking. Success! We found him and he was talking about his Boston Marathon experience. (Mebrahtom Keflezighi won the 118th Boston Marathon in 2014, becoming the first American man to do so since Greg Meyer in 1983.) He spoke with emotion and was very humble about his experience even though he has probably retold it countless times before. After his session he signed copies of his book and took pictures. YES, I got mine and he even signed my #RNRLV bib “Run to Win”. Best Running Keepsake Ever!! What a great start to the weekend!
Meb would be a Pacer for the 1:45 Half Marathon Coral at RNRLV
Francine and I finished up with the expo and headed back to the Vegas Strip for some sightseeing. First stop was Hershey’s Chocolate World in New York New York. Oh wow! It had just opened in June.
Any flavor you could imagine. What’s your favorite? I like the Dark Chocolate Mint!
After awhile we headed back to change for our night out at TAO. A perfect evening to cut loose. Since we weren’t doing the 5k Saturday night we already had our day/evening planned out for the following day which would include M&M World, seeing the white tigers at Siegfried’s & Roy Secret Garden, a stop for sweets at Carlo’s Bake Shop, Dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s Steak and a bit of adventure. (Ziplining off of RIO at night- It was a bit windy and chilly but what a thrill. A must do on your next trip to Vegas).
Such a thrill and if you look to the left while your in flight you can see the Palms casino!!!!!
Vegas constantly changes and even though this was my third trip here there is always something new to see and do. Tips: Wear comfortable shoes, Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, Plan out your day (know what is where and when at the various casino attractions), Stretch and rest when needed: you can do this by people watching which there are plenty of in Vegas and eat well since you are burning tons of calories walking.
Finally race day arrived on Sunday. We would be running the Half and decided to take it easy the first part of the day. While Francine stepped out to pick up souvenirs I started getting out my race gear so I wouldn’t be scrambling that afternoon. Scratching my head I realized I was missing a couple things which would be a problem since a cold front had come in that day (55 degrees & 12 mph winds-Yikes! Far cry from 70 degrees and 4mph winds Friday & Saturday) We had planned out some cute “Vegas-Themed” costumes for this race and I would be absolutely freezing if I didn’t find the rest of my race attire which included my arm-warmers,knee socks, compression shorts and of course special touches such as my red sparkly headband. I started panicking. I found my costume but where were these items? Did I pack them? I had changed suitcases at the last minute did I leave those items behind? What else was I missing? My bodyglide was also MIA and then I remembered we had changed rooms on the first day!!!!! Uh-O. Did housekeeping by chance have these items? Was I going to have to run this race practically naked? There would be no way I could replace these items in just a few hours. I called the front desk and got transferred to Lost & Found. I waited while someone went to look for my items. She vaguely remembered seeing something red & sparkly in a bag. Would she find it? Would she save my race-day?! VICTORY as I let out a deep breathe!!! All of my items were located even though I didn’t even have the room number from our first check in. I got lucky!! I went downstairs to the casino floor to claim my items and tried my luck at a slot machine with the $5 I had on me. Would I be lucky again ? uh- not so much but I had my race items so I was thrilled! Race Day Saved!!!!
We headed out to catch the Pre-Show before the race which would be Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. It was strange seeing the Strip empty and roads closed but excited to know that it was for us! We made our way across the street to take some pictures and enjoy a spectacular show. They played ALL of their hits such as “Thrift Shop”, “Can’t Hold Us” and more.
We were absolutely freezing in our outfits but got lots of compliments. I was actually surprised there were not more people dressed up for this race. We stood out a bit more than I expected but that was ok. We jogged to Coral 11 to warm up and catch the start of the race. The next 13.1 miles would definitely stick out in our memories and we could not wait. Every coral had their own fireworks at the start and soon we were off! Our plan was to PR in FUN for this race. We were armed with our camera phones and smiles. The sights and sounds of the Las Vegas Strip at Night did not disappoint.
Crowd and course support was heavy on the Strip but as you got off the main drag there was less as to be expected. I personally could not see doing this course as a Full since you have less light to see the roads in certain areas plus it is just not as entertaining. ( However I do have friends that have done the Full and had a blast!) It was fun spotting the various wedding chapels as you got close to downtown. I tried to look for my own but I believe it was just a block over from where we were running. ( Yes, I got married in Vegas in 2007 at ‘A Special Memory Wedding Chapel’) We got so caught up on the course that we didn’t even take our GU til about mile 7. At that point it was needed since we expelled so much energy shivering in our costumes and had several miles to go. It was an unexpected thrill to run Downtown ( I never look at race maps ahead of time). We stopped for more pictures and listened to the drummers before we headed back to the Strip to enjoy more bands in the distance. No headphones are needed for this race you have plenty to occupy your senses.
Finally the Finish line was in sight and we were ready to claim our bling! One last push and we had conquered the #StripatNight . We even received our finisher medal and were interviewed on camera by RNR staff at the finish line. I will have to look for that clip later. ( maybe not though since we were in a brief state of delirium lol!)
Women’s Running Magazine even featured this pic for the #RunBrag of the weekend 🙂
We walked through the finisher chute getting water and chocolate milk exhilarated and proud of ourselves yet still freezing. Hot Chocolate was the next pursuit which we would find at Paris.
The finisher party was being held after the race at MGM Grand’s nightclub Hakkasan but honestly after that long of a weekend we were done! We had accomplished our PR in fun.
I highly recommend this race for an awesome Racecation getaway because if your not having fun its not worth doing. Thank you #RNRLV we enjoyed running the #StripatNight
For more check out this awesome video clip by Pure Dope Magazine of highlighted recaps from #RNRLV race weekend!