Ever pinch yourself for getting to experience something you never thought possible?
This is EXACTLY how I felt when the stars aligned and I was able to attend my first Rock 'n' Roll marathon series race weekend! I'd had serious FOMO for years watching friends run the #StripAtNight! Finally it was my time in November 2017!
Special thanks to my United frequent flyer miles (flight cost me $11), Rock n Blog for the free race entries, Team Chocolate Milk for the VIP access and my FFTFL friend Teri for letting me share a room with her!!
First, I'd get to meet so many members of the amazing Fat To Finish Line Tribe!
Second, I'd get to see so many of my #WeRunSocial, #RockNBlog and Team Chocolate Milk friends!!!
Third, I'd be making another attempt to get my first half marathon done in over 3 hours!
But before any of that could happen... it was 5k time!
Since I was a total Vegas newbie, I relied heavily on my friends: Briana, Andrew and Brian dealt with the brunt of my questions and basically just leading me from place to place. Haha.
The 5k kicked off at 6pm at the Last Vegas Festival Grounds. It was relocated due to the horrible Vegas shooting. It was a powerful thing being in town after such a tragedy. I was glad I could be there to pay tribute.
Andrew, Briana and I headed to the race and opted to walk over taking the monorail. It was a nice time to walk and we got to direct some drunk guys to the race. I think they were supposed to be running, but they were still in jeans. I wish I knew waht happened to them. #Vegas
We headed into the SLS hotel to get our stuff situated/ready for bag check and to take advantage of the indoor bathrooms. :) Briana was co-hosting the WRS pre-race meetup - complete with donuts - so we headed out towards security.
We heard the dulcet voice of THE Brian (@PavementRunner) and were joined by Brian, Carlee, David and Ryan. YAY! It is rare I get to see the Cali crew so I was excited to see my West Coast peeps.
The security lines were long, but they moved at a decent clip. With what had recently happened we expected the heightened security and understood the concern.
We made our way through security and headed straight to bag check where the meetup would be happening.
It was awesome meeting so many folks that I had only known online, like Brandi (@FunnerRunner). Somehow our race schedules were always slightly off. So despite being ambassadors for many of the same products/races, we never met before Vegas.
After a few more donut holes, hugs, selfies and high-fives, it was time to make our way over to the Start Line area.
I took the wait time to finally take a look at the 5k course. Seemed like it was a simple out and back. I do love out and backs! Extra time to cheer on friends and high-five strangers.
I was pumped to be out getting another chance to run with Briana. We had a blast running together a month prior at RnR Brooklyn so I was ready for another good time. She was in charge of the RnR Instagram stories so we would have 3.1 miles of cheering fun!
Folks seriously brought their A game for the race. Lots of fun Vegas themed costumes and light up clothing since it was pretty dark by the time we started. I had just done 3 costumes the week prior in Disney so I couldn't ask the wife to design any more. ;) So I went with my tride and true Cape, Tedy's Team singlet and Sparkle Athletic comic book skirt.
After a moment of silence and the National Anthem, we were off. I knew right off the bat this would not be a race where I would be taking a lot of photos. Very dark without a ton of light. It sort of felt like the early morning races in Disney. :)
The 5k, unlike the half/full, is not at all on the Strip. You won't find fun Strip-type distractions during the race. It was definitely just a street, which it's name can give that away: Industrial Road. There were some nice pawn shops to pass and liquor stores. Oh and a strip club or two. So I guess you could say that is it was pretty Vegas.
The road was pretty beat up with potholes, but it was cool to see the leaders coming at us. Those folks were FLYING!
Mile 1: 10:30
Just after we hit the Mile 1 marker, we took a left on to W Resorts World Road. There was an awesome RnR volunteer handing out light up foam sticks to runners. Of course I had to grab one. I love a good accessory.
This 0.5 might out and 0.5 back didn't feature any music, but thankfully there were a couple runners near us running with speakers.
Since our friends were racing either each other or pushing for a time, Briana and I were bringing up the rear of our crew. That gave us a chance to cheer them on during this little out and back. Despite the darkness, we were able to spot them all.
Mile 2: 10:05
Man we had made it through 2/3 of the race and had yet to have a dance party. :( We made it to the DJ booth, but there wasn't anyone actually there. It was just a cart with speakers on it. Womp womp! We decided to skip the dance party and save it for the following day's half.
For the final stretch of the race, we wiggled our way through the Las Vegas grounds.
There was a sweet band out, but we couldn't find anyone to film our dance party video for us. Strike Two - it would have to wait.
Once we re-entered the grounds though, there were a TON of spectators lining the course. I spotted some #FFTFL Tribe Members and gave a big scream.
Mile 3: 9:50
It was an awesome vibe as you came in to the Finish Line.
FINAL TIME: 31:58 (10:19 min/mile pace)
It felt fitting to wear my #BostonStrong Tedy's Team singlet to support #VegasStrong!
After making our way through the Finish chute and collecting our fun medal, we met up with Andrew and headed to bag check. We found a little slice of turf and plopped down. It was time to decide the next part of the night. We decided to catch some of the Goo Goo Dolls concert. The Goo Goo Dolls were set to perform before the 10k/half/full, but were moved to after the 5k instead. It was fun to jam out to some Goo Goo Dolls classics and be transported back to the 90s and high school. :P
Once we had enough concert fun and heard all the hits we needed to ;), we made our way to get some Secret Pizza... but first that medal pic!
I just followed Andrew and Briana as we made our way to the Cosmopolitan and pizza.
Now that was delicious!
Now I was getting freakin' excited for the next day... half marathon time!!!!
Overall the 5k course could've been more exciting: some entertainment, better lit course, and actual DJ/bands on the course (outside of the Festival grounds). But was it worth it to get the Remix medal... you know it! ;)
The positives: great medal, fully blocked off course, and an offer of a fun light stick.
Did you run the RnR 5k? What did you think?