What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…
or ends up on my blog.
We’d planned this trip for almost a year and it was such an AMAZING experience!!! We registered for the half marathon back in December during Rock ‘n’ Roll’s 24-hour global sale. Ed and I decided to do the Remix Challenge, which means we ran on Saturday and Sunday and earned 3 medals. We registered for the 5k separately back in March.
We left Virginia on Wednesday, November 8th, and landed in Las Vegas around 7:45PM (Vegas time). We picked up our rental car, checked into the Excalibur, walked the strip for a little bit, then went to bed… at 9:30 (Yes, I know we’re lame, however it was almost 11PM our time when we landed!!!).
We woke up at the crack of dawn the next morning to go sightseeing (thank you, time change). Our first stop was the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. This was my third trip to Las Vegas, but my first time seeing this famous sign.
Our next stop was the Hoover Dam. We originally were going to skip it, but decided to go last minute and I’m so glad that we did! We paid $30 each for a tour and it was definitely worth it. Our tour guide, Eric, was hilarious!
Our third stop was the Grand Canyon South Rim. Holy 4-hour drive each way*. The drive was beautiful and definitely worth it, though!
*Grand Canyon West is closer to Las Vegas (about a 2.5 hour drive) and includes the Skywalk.
On Friday, we went hiking at the Valley of Fire. This was such a cool park and only an hour drive from Las Vegas!
After that, we headed to the Las Vegas Convention Center for the race expo. There was plenty of parking there and a monorail station.
The expo was HUGE and really well-organized. I absolutely loved all of the Brooks official gear! I would’ve bought everything, except for the fact that I’m a full-time grad student and don’t have a job, so…
On Saturday morning, we went to Red Rock Canyon since it was free entrance for Veterans Day! Red Rock was only a 30-minute drive from our hotel.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll 5k took place Saturday night at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds. The race started at 6PM, so we left our hotel around 4:30 and drove over to the Festival Grounds. Parking was at the SLS employee lot and was pretty easy.
I wasn’t a fan of the 5k. There wasn’t much to see since we didn’t get to run on any part of the strip.
The headliner concert took place after the 5k at the Festival Grounds. This year’s headline was the Goo Goo Dolls and I was SO excited!!! We got our free Michelob Ultra* then watched the concert. It was AWESOME!!!
*Tip: Get your ID checked at the expo… it will save you time on race day!
The half marathon took place on Sunday night. We were in the green corral, which meant that our race started at 5PM. We walked over to the start line, which was conveniently located by New York-New York Hotel & Casino, around 3:30. It was so weird seeing the strip completely shut down on our walk over!
Almost all of the half marathon course took place on Las Vegas Blvd. and it was SO cool!!! Running down the strip at night was such a fun experience! We ran by the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, all of the famous hotels, and downtown Las Vegas. There was also music everywhere!
The finish line was located on the strip by the The Mirage Hotel & Casino. We got our half marathon medals in the finisher area, which was 0.4 miles long. The finisher area also had post-race refreshments like water, Gatorade, Pringles, pretzels, etc. We had to go to a separate tent to get our Remix Challenge medal.
The walk back to our hotel was a little over a mile long. We could’ve taken the monorail, but we wanted to keep moving. Ed wished that we stayed closer to the finish line than the start line.
We weren’t scheduled to leave until Tuesday morning, so we spent Monday at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat in The Mirage.
We also went to the fountains at the Bellagio so I could get a picture with my medals 🙂
We went to the Luxor that night to see Blue Man Group. It was hilarious… I highly recommend!
This was such an amazing trip and I would 100% go back to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon again!!!