Vegas Recap – Expo and Half Marathon

The expo was held at my hotel (The Venetian) which was REALLY nice – and unlike Savannah wasn’t a complete cluster. Sure, it was huge and overwhelming – but logistically it worked. I got my bib in about 2 seconds and then picked up my too small, why can’t I just get a unisex size? shirt (don’t get me started – but the women’s shirts are WAY too small for me).

Paula and Fabian were on their way – so we played a round of ski ball (yes, ski ball) — the hubby won a medal!



(the highlight of his weekend!)

When they arrived Paula and I got our fortune told. We were hoping it DIDN’T turn out like Big.


And then this happened.




Oh – and this…


While at the expo, I picked up some arm warmers and some gels (that I still have) – and then we high tailed it out of there. I knew leaving that the race was going to be INSANE and crowded and unfortunately, I wasn’t wrong.

As for the day of the race – with the exception of breakfast we spent the day lounging around our hotel room (and I snuck in a little nap!). Around 2:30 I finally started getting ready. I attempted to tape up my groin — and it was a HUGE fail (thankfully, I didn’t need it). I was, however, able to tape up my right ankle (I’ll get into that into another post – but I’m fairly certain I have peroneal tendonitis) so who knows what I’m doing wrong.


We grabbed a quick bit and then made the LOOOONG stroll down to Mandalay Bay (about 2.5 miles away). We made a few stops on the way (Walgreens, bathroom, etc) and finally got to the start around 4:45 (race kicked off at 5:30), where we stood around for 15 minutes trying to find Paula (the best part is that they were standing RIGHT in front of us!).


After we start our goodbyes, we got into our corral – and the clusterf*ck began. We listened to the National Anthem, took our race picture, and got pumped.


(it was SO much warmer with the jacket!)

They started with letting the corrals go one at a time and then — I’m not sure what happened. People just started going. We were in Corral 8 – so we started about 8 or so minutes after the start and just ran. Within the first 200 yards we noticed orange cones and thought, “WTF are those there?” It wasn’t until Mile 1 where we realize they were there for the full marathoners and by that point they were screaming obscenities at us (and rightfully so). Full marathoners who finished with ME were running a 3:30-3:45 race — that pace is WAY faster than mine. WHY RnR did this is BEYOND me. HUGE FAIL.

Paula intentionally left her Garmin at home and I unintentionally left my back in the hotel (I remember it about 2 miles into our walk – doh!). I’m actually GLAD I wasn’t wearing it because I probably would have been annoyed at my pace.

The start of the race was fun and I was actually feeling pretty good. There were a lot of people cheering, shouting, and staring (and I got a lot of compliments on my sparkle skirt!) — and we passed the rock star cheerleaders at mile 2.5ish. They didn’t see us, but they were ROCKING it and I kinda wished I was with them instead. Ha.

At the 2nd waterstop I grabbed what I THOUGHT was water, but was actually Cytomax and took a sip. Let’s just say my stomach regretted this for the 6 miles that followed. I typically have a stomach of steel, so this was surreal. Thankfully around mile 9 it passed and I just wanted to be DONE.

This is also around the time I lost Paula. BOOOO. There were just SO many people. Shoving. Pushing. Yelling. RUDE. It was especially bad at the water stops – where there were clearly NOT enough volunteers.

Like the first 3 miles, the last 3 or so miles were really fun. I WAS expecting a much bigger crowd though – so that was slightly disappointing. Then, 2:15:01 after the start, I was finally finished and I WALKED over the finish line. Not because I couldn’t run, but because there were so.many.people.

Screen shot 2011-12-08 at 9.00.41 PM

(Just on a 13.1 mile stroll y’all.)

This is where RnR failed the most for me — or maybe it was just the other runners. They were rude. They were taking multiple medals, multiple mylar covers, and just standing around instead of moving towards the exit. When I FINALLY got out of the mess – I found these two guys waiting for me (they had somehow missed me finish).


Shortly after, we found Paula but she was feeling so bad we didn’t get out medal picture. Boooo. We might have to do a little photoshopping to make it right.

Thankfully, we seemed to have beat the MAD rush and shortly after the race we walked over to Excalibur, grabbed a cab, and made it back to the hotel by 9:30 — and I was asleep 2 hours later.

Overall thoughts: The race was FUN. The course wasn’t horrible and it was SUPER flat. BUT, there were so many things RnR could have done better – especially for the amount of $$ we spent on that race. I think there were too many people. The marathoners should have had a completely different course if they were going to throw them in like they did and the finish should have been MUCH more organized.

Do I recommend this race? For fun – YES. Is it worth the $$? Nope. Do I regret my decision to race in Vegas?? Not a single minute of it.

This race did bring up a good question for me — how much money is TOO much to spend on a race? I now think that anything over $100 is ridiculous. Thoughts?


  1. Holly says

    I’m trying to understand why anyone would take more than one medal. ?!

    For a full marathon I could see paying up to $100 max, preferably like $80. For a half the most I could see spending would be like $75, preferably about $50. The two halves I have done were $40 each so I’m spoiled.
    Holly recently posted..A Long December

    • Michelle says

      Yeah – I don’t get it either. Crazy.

      The local half here is $40 ($50 if you sign up late) so I understand! Of course then we have Disney — and their races are ridiculous. Maybe some day I’ll do the full, but you better believe I am taking advantage of going to the park the next day!

      I will pay more for big races (Chicago, NYC, MCM) but that’s it.

  2. Victoria @ Running Peanut says

    Who in the Hades takes two medals? WTF?

    I paid $165 (I think) to run the Disney Marathon, which is a lot, but I loved, loved, the course and it had great course support. I might pay over $100 for one of the biggies (Chicago, NYC), but for a local one, forget it.

    • Michelle says

      I honestly have NO IDEA why you would take more than one medal – except that they glow in the dark??? People are idiots.

      The most I’ve paid for a race is Wine & Dine ($145) and it wasn’t worth it. I was lucky and got in early on Vegas and “only” paid $120 – but it was still too much!

      I would definitely pay more for one of the big races – but that’s where I draw the line!!

  3. says

    The post race cluster was the worst!!

    I think the most I’ve paid (besides Vegas) was around 110. BUT it’s absolutely worth the money bc it was a local race and they throw a good post race party and give you unlimited food and beer (blue moon or yuengling depending on the event) after the race. We also got finishers gifts and a hat once we were done. Rock n Roll doesnt do any of that. They just rob you. Those jerks.

    I think the best part was hanging out in Vegas and meeting new people. The actual race was on the bottom of my fun list!
    Brandi @ The Vitamin Bee recently posted..Scavenger Hunt

  4. says

    OMG. That headband picture. hahaha, I love how you take pictures and then I completely forget about them and then BAM they’re on your blog. Hee.

    I like that pic of Fabian too.

    I agree though. I don’t regret doing it but I wouldn’t do it again. And I think $100 might be my new cap unless it’s somewhere new that I really want to go.
    Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run recently posted..All the Dam Sightseeing

    • Michelle says

      Oh, don’t worry – I feel the same way about your pictures. TOTALLY forgot about the “dancing” picture. Hee!!

      Agreed on the somewhere new I want to go — but for the most part I’ll stick to the cheapo races. Luckily there are a lot of those in our area!


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