The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series started back in 1998 with the simple idea of making running fun. You can now find events all over the world, and with each year they get more and more popular. It’s easy to see why; they offer a great atmosphere, great bling and live entertainment along the course. What’s not to love?
Last week I took part in my first Rock ‘n’ Roll event in Las Vegas. It was a marathon series, and had 4 different races over the weekend; 5km, 10km, half marathon and the marathon. Initially, I was due to run the half, but I’d not run long distance since the Santa Rosa Marathon and decided to step down to the 5km (unfortunately the 10km was full!)
I always love a marathon expo; the atmosphere is buzzing, there’s plenty of opportunity to buy running kit that you absolutely need, and it’s a great way to find out about interesting events and races which are coming up. The Rock ‘n’ Roll expo was up there as one of the best; great race merchandise, easy to navigate and plenty of stalls to spark your interest. Charlie volunteered at the G- adventure stall which gave me the opportunity to find out about all their events- oh so many that I want to do- you should definitely check out their website.
The 5km was the first of the races and there were thousands of participants. The races actually start at night so you can enjoy the bright lights of Las Vegas. We arrived at the start where volunteers were handing out flashing accessories to run with and there was generally a buzz in the air. Before we knew it, we were in our coral and ready to go. The route was really, really crowded and there were people walking in the middle of the road from the start. I’m all for people taking part in races, whatever their fitness levels, but I wish people would be honest about their finishing times so they start in the right coral!! The 5km route was actually rather underwhelming, I’m afraid to say. I was hoping to run along the Strip, but this route stayed well clear. I guess it must be to do with the short distance and the cost of closing down the roads for the races, but for the very high entry price I was a little disappointed! That said, it was fun to run with Charlie and Zoe and I still got that little post- race high.
The following day I spectated the other 3 races which all started around the same time, and I really wished I could have done one of those instead (well, not the marathon!) The Strip was closed for the race, so the runners had an amazing route, running past all the famous Las Vegas landmarks. I think the best race to run this weekend is the half marathon- 11 of the miles are on the Strip, which would just be amazing!
(Photo Credit to Charlie!)
All in all, I think they’re a great series of races. The races are expensive, especially if you miss the early bird entry, but I think it’s worth it for the overall experience. Running a Rock ‘n’ Roll race is definitely a unique way to see Vegas, but if I was to enter again I would most definitely do the half marathon to get the best experience possible- next year, anyone?!
Have you run any of the Rock ‘n’ Roll races? What do you think of them?