Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Rock 'N' Roll Las Vegas 5K Race Recap

Saturday night was the Rock ’N’ Roll Las Vegas 5K - the second race of #Dirt2Strip (and also our second race of the day).

Hopefully at this point you've already taken a moment or three to read yesterday’s recap of the first race in our journey {the Griffith Park Trail Half Marathon}, but if you haven’t, I’d highly recommend it so we're all on the same page.

The views were pretty spectacular, even if the course ended up being a little (okay 1.5 miles) short

When we left off, the crew and I were on our way to Vegas. We caught a 12:05pm flight out of Burbank which was expected to get us into Las Vegas around 1:10pm. For the most part it was smooth sailing (minus the fact that I got separated from the group on the plane because of non-assigned seats, but ain’t no thang).

The Burbank airport is small enough that you actually still walk out on the tarmac to get onto the plane (fun!)

Originally our game plan was to take a ride-share from the airport to our hotel, check-in, get showered and changed for the 5K, then head to the Expo to grab our bibs (for both the 5K on Saturday night and the Half Marathon on Sunday), then make our way to the 5K. Well, apparently when I was making our itinerary I didn’t consider a few pieces of information. First (and probably most important) was the 5K bibs had to be picked up from the Expo prior to 3:30pm (even though the Expo was open until 6pm). I am assuming this is because the Rock ’N’ Roll team would be bringing the remaining bibs to the 5K race in case people were doing pick-up at the event (but I am just speculating as to what the reason was). The second thing I didn’t consider was check-in for our hotel rooms wasn’t until 3pm. With these pieces of info being brought to my attention we quickly adjusted our plans to go from the airport to the Expo to the hotel and then back to the race.

The struggle is real (and definitely was during the weekend... we were running on fumes, adrenaline, and maybe a little alcohol)

I am normally not one to spend much time at an Expo, but with our quick turnaround time (and the desire to get to our hotel, check-in, shower and grab a bite to eat before the 5K), we were in and out in no time flat (hence the lack of photos).

When we got to the hotel not all of the rooms were ready, but Brian was kind enough to let David and Richard use his shower so everyone was fresh and clean before running again. [I lucked out that not only was my room ready, but that I am also the only girl in the group so I was able to have my bathroom all to myself ;)]

This is what a #FlatCarlee looks like when it is based around a pair of socks ;) Florida Skies PRO Compression socks, orange
Handful bra, Catch Me If You Can rabbit shorts, quarter zip I grabbed from Target a while back, Running4ThoseWhoCant
trucker, purple and teal QALO silicone wedding bands, purple and orange Momentum Jewelry wrapselite Road ID,
my Garmin Forerunner 935and Brooks Ghost 11.

If you remember in my #Dirt2Strip post, the #WeRunSocial crew was having a meet-up prior to both the 5K and the races on Sunday (they offer a 10K, Half and Full), so our aim was to get over to the race area around 5:20pm.

Source: @werunsocial's Instagram feed

Timing worked out perfectly again (even after stopping to grab a couple appetizers in one of the casinos) and we strolled up with a few moments to spare. We had a decent turnout for the meet-up (it’s always difficult when the meet-up is in the dark, but we still tried to make it work) and it was great getting to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen in a long time.

Source: WeRunSocial's Facebook feed

Eventually it was time to head to the corrals. A group of us were in the first wave so we made our way towards the start. I had David snap a quick picture of me prior to us starting the race. (I know, I know, I didn’t have a crazy costume with a wig and battery powered lights or made of cardboard, but I needed to be able to fly with my gear so when the guys picked the Florida Skies PRO Compression socks for the race I kept it simple and went with the color scheme to match the socks.)

I was a little surprised at the lack of starting line signage. There is normally a large blow-up arch that goes over the start, but this year there were just two small signs on either side of the road that said 5K (similar to the mile markers you see along the course). Not a huge deal, but for a 5K that already seems to be very low frills, this was something that I noticed.

Source: @blingwhore's Instagram feed

Now, despite the fact that I received a comped entry to this race via my relationship with #RockNBlog, that doesn’t mean I won’t shoot straight with you… Hopefully by now you know I’ve always gotta #KeepItReal… So, with that being said, this is a lame 5K. Don’t get me wrong, this is my third year in a row running it {2016, 2017}, but that is because I was already in town, it was free for me, friends were doing it, and it was a race where I could let my creative juices run free and run in a fun costume. If this is not the case for you, I would probably recommend saving your pretty pennies.


The marketing team does make it look like a blast though... Here's a video from 2016 (see anyone you recognize?!):

The course itself is dark, on poorly cared for roads (which means you have to watch for potholes, cracks in the road, etc) and on back roads away from the strip. There are a few “entertainment stops” along the way (a couple DJs, a guy playing the drums, and a KISS band near the finish), but for the most part it’s nothing to write home about.

I did appreciate the Brooks rocker made an appearance!

We might have thrown around the idea of dressing as KISS for the race but were worried the prep would take too long for our limited time.

Just as the course leaves much to be desired, the perks are pretty lackluster too (at least in my opinion for comparable races). The finish line was missing signage (just like the start), the participant shirt was okay (although I don’t wear them - I keep them for Project Repat quilts I have made from my race shirts), the bling is decent (seems smaller than most other 5K medals - I liked the idea of the slot machine handle, but it doesn’t move and seems like it could break very easily {not to mention the date is wrong on the back of the bling...}) and the after party has never been enticing enough to keep us around. Although, we all did mention that the course either seemed wider or they did a better job at spreading out the wave start because it didn’t feel as overly crammed as it has felt in previous years (my one positive for the race...).

Took it easy, ran with friends and shook out some of the tightness from the morning's run

You're probably asking yourself why Rock ’N’ Roll asks me back as an ambassador when I don’t have raving reviews for all of their races (I may ask myself the same thing), but hopefully you appreciate my honesty {not only do I want you to know what you're getting yourself into when you are thinking about spending your hard earned cash, but I also want you to know that when I give positive feedback it’s because I truly enjoy something… otherwise I don’t really hold back}.

Source: @blingwhore's Instagram feed
These guys are some of my FAVORITES! Even though half the time they act like they can't stand me ;) #AnnoyingLittleSister

I was glad I had a long sleeve that went with the color palate... it was actually pretty chilly when the sun set!

And, just like that race #2 of the day was complete. We were all starting to fade fast (remember, I was up since 2:30am and had been go-go-going since tackling the Hollywood hills hours before), so we made a bee-line to the monorail (a ride-share would have been cheaper, but with everyone leaving the race around the same time it seemed pretty chaotic and worth the extra couple bucks to jump on the monorail back towards our hotel) and then to find some ‘real’ food.

When in doubt, Mexican food is always a good choice!

Would you run a race because “everyone else is doing it” even if the course leaves much to be desired?

No comments: