Friday, November 18, 2016

Race Recap: Rock 'N Roll Vegas Half Marathon

Last weekend I did the Rock 'N Roll Marathon Series Vegas Remix Challenge. That means, a 5K Saturday and a Half Marathon Sunday for a total of three medals! If you haven't read my 5K recap yet you can find it HERE.

Our day started off with an early wake-up (I may have stayed out a little too late while the rest of the girls were smart and went to bed at midnight) but I managed to rally and we made it to brunch just before 10. We filled our belly's before walking to the Fashion Show mall to pick up a pair of shorts for Tawnya. The weather was HOT (unlike last year) so shorts were necessary. We walked the two miles there but decided to UBER back to our hotel since we were cutting it close to the time we had to head back. Even though the race start isn't until 5 we had to be there for 3 if we wanted to catch the headline act; SNOOP!
We quickly did our flat runner photos, changed, grabbed some water and snacks and made our way to the start near Mandalay. We intended on taking the Monorail but it was insanely busy and the walk was only about twenty-minutes. I just wish the escalators had been working because those hills on already-tired legs before a half marathon were not fun.

We got in to the area just as Snoop started. We made our way near the stage and jammed out as we met up with the We Run Social crew. 

We grabbed selfies, ate our pre-race banana, gels and drank gatorade, and then it was time to use the bathroom and get in our corrals.

Brian from Pavement Runner
Ashley from Running Bun

With Carlee!

I'm a HUGE fan of the new corral system. You are arranged in one of three colours and you don't lineup until a certain time. This avoided congestion and you had less of a chance of people sneaking into corrals. I loved that Rock 'N Roll people listened to the feedback from last night (they also gave you bags at the end to carry all your stuff, this time, which was awesome!!) We had about half an hour to kill when we got into our corral so we chatted, took selfies, and made sure our light-up accessories were ready to go. Before we knew it, we were walking to the starting line. The corrals are released in waves every few minutes so you feel like you're always walking towards the start instead of sitting and waiting which I also really like.

Then, around 5:30, it was our turn! We took one last pre-race photo and we were off! 

We took our first stop about a mile in at the Welcome To Vegas Sign! Our goal was to have fun, take photos, support each other, and finish! June and Robynn had ran the Disney challenge the weekend before, I hadn't done any long distance running lately, and it was Tawnya's first half. We wanted to be friends at the end ;)

The first few miles seem so dark, and quite, so I'm glad they're at the start. We saw a few people trip so I think they need to do a better job of lighting that area up; especially with the uneven pavement. It was nice to get back to the main part of the strip although at some points the spectators just seemed to be so quiet. We started yelling "cheer louder" or just screaming "thanks for cheering" which seemed to wake some of them up. We tried to high-five as many people as possible but it felt quite congested at times. 

The strip only gets shut down TWICE A YEAR so it's pretty cool that this race is one of them.

We basically ran straight for the first half which just quick stops at water stations. After the half way point we changed to 4 and 1 intervals. Honestly, it's so hard to see friends struggling. You want to just let them walk but you also know how much they are capable of. It was a hard struggle to toe the line of being encouraging and supportive. I definitely felt like I was bringing out the coach in me a lot.

All the ladies did so well and my heart-rate stayed exactly where it should be which I was happy about. 
The last few miles were the hardest but we made it and all proceeded (minus Robynn) to have a good little cry when we finished. Something about seeing people accomplish something on their bucket list makes me so sappy. I'm pretty sure I cried a few times that day.

While Robynn and June hit the medical tent, Tawnya and I collected our bag of goodies and our medals and our free beer.

We all went to the room to shower/change before celebrating with a big meal and some more liquor! 

It was a fun day with some of my favourite people! I'll definitely be back Vegas.... 
Congratulations to my girls, especially Tawnya for joining the half-marathoner club. You are a role model to so many people but mostly importantly to your children. 

You can do anything you want. You are capable of hard things. Don't ever doubt yourself.

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