Ok, so when I last left off I had stopped to buy my bottle of Champagne. Ya’ll know I can not NOT have champagne after a race. Typically I save it for a longer race and not a 5K, but whatever….when in Vegas! And yes, I had no idea how the champagne was going to be but I couldn’t resist the bottle. It just spoke to me.
We went to dinner with Nat and her husband to this awesome Asian restaurant in the Venetian called Tao.
I’m pretty sure we ate like we had just ran the half marathon though….I was carb loading and that’s what I’m sticking to. This dessert was amazing. A giant fortune cookie with chocolate and white chocolate mousse inside. I’m pretty sure Nat’s hubby and I devoured most of it.
We ended up staying out late again until close to 2am!
The next morning we woke up went to brunch. We really weren’t sure what to do for food since we were running at night and decided a big brunch and snacks later in the afternoon would work so that’s what we did. After brunch we decided we wanted to go see the Las Vegas sign. I’ve been to Vegas about 6 times now and I had never seen it because I usually stay in the middle of the strip. But this time it was walking distance from Mandalay bay! Nat and I had some fun!
That took all of 5 minutes and then we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the big race!
I hadn’t really figured out what to wear yet at this point. I ended up going with a skirt because I was going to wear the Procompression “Gibblers” sock. They were the official We Run Social sock for the race. But I am so glad that I decided to wear a long sleeve top.
We had heard it was going to be windy and wow were they right. There were winds of up to 40mph with gusts up to 60mph and rain and cold. Not the most ideal racing conditions. There may have been some desert dust blown into my eyes a few times. Thank goodness I don’t wear contacts or glasses!
When we got outside the strip was shut down which was super cool. If you’ve ever been to Vegas you know that Las Vegas Blvd is a VERY busy road with tons of traffic, so to have it all to ourselves was pretty darn cool.
The pre-race concert started at 3 and was right across the street from our hotel so it was super easy to get to. The line to get in the venue was pretty long but moved fast if you didn’t have a bag (this is why I NEVER gear check). We got there pretty early as I was supposed to meet up with some fellow Rock N Bloggers which it turns out none of us connected. I think everyone was late and ended up doing their own thing which was a bummer. Kid Rock was the headliner and he was AMAZING! He had so much awesome energy and really got the crowd pumped for the race.
The concert was open to the public which was interesting because they had an entire area set up with bagels, bananas, water and regular people were just helping themselves. Note the girl in green wearing a wool coat…runner…hmmm, I think NOT.
Anyway, I was super bummed that I didn’t see any of the bloggers until I spotted Jen! She seriously had THE BEST costume that I had ever seen and that I saw on the strip that night. She rocked it and I can’t believe she ran in that head piece with the way the wind was!
Then we found Nat!
After our quick hellos and photo ops, my friend Dana (standing next to Jen above) and I decided to try to beat the crowds out of the venue and head to our corrals as it was getting close to race time. We were in corral 7 with a start time of about 4:40 (official start 4:30). There were so many corrals, 40 actually. Can you believe that? This race was HUGE. The final corrals were let off at close to 5:30pm!
The start was pretty awesome. When they let us go they had fireworks coming from the top of the Start Line banner…so cool and a great way to get you pumped up. The first two miles were a quick out and back out around the Las Vegas sign where you could stop and have your photo taken. We opted to not stop as we had gone there already in the morning. The first couple of miles had a DJ and the huge speakers and strobe lights like at the 5k.
We proceeded down the strip in front of all of the awesome hotels and lights and the atmosphere was totally electric, albeit cold (although not quite as cold as Rock N Roll DC). There were live bands and more DJ’s and MC’s lining the streets on stage. There was a Run Through Wedding where you could run off the course and get married or renew your wedding vows.
I remember seeing the 10K timing mat and I turned to my friend Dana and said “I really wish we were running the 10K.” Yea, I pretty much felt like that the entire race. My watch had died the night before which is probably a good thing because I would have been staring at it constantly wishing the miles away. My body was just tired and I wasn’t really feeling it.
I was running along when this guy next to me told me he liked my socks, lol. Turns out it was Brian from Pavement Runner and the We Run Social Crew (you can see Carlee and Andrea Barber behind me, the name behind the Gibblers!). They had just come from doing the San Diego half in the morning, jumped on a plane to Vegas and were running the half. Pure awesomeness right there. Anyway, I chatted with Brian briefly then whipped out the GoPro (yes, I ran with it the entire time, and all of my photos from marathon photo have me holding a selfie stick up in the air, lol) and got this fun shot (albeit blurry).
We continuted on and shortly after that it started to get a bit cooler, the rain started lightly falling and the wind picked up. We got to the end of the strip and entered the older part of the city which had us running on some dark city streets and through a few neighborhoods. It got pretty quiet during these miles but the sponsor Toyota kicked it up a notch shortly after with a “pace car” and an MC yelling through a mega phone trying to get us pumped up. There was also a DJ and those speakers out again. There were a few bands out and about on the course, but they were pretty evenly disbursed with the DJ booths it seemed like. We ran by wedding chapels that claimed to have married Michael Jordan and Jon Bon Jovi, those were pretty fun to see.
At around mile 10 Dana and I were both hurting. She had been dealing with some plantar fasciitis issues and my hip flexor was starting to bother me. I felt like I was shuffling at this point. The wind was getting stronger and I was cold. We pushed through the last 3 miles which was back on the strip (thank goodness, I needed all the motivation I could muster) into the finish line.
The finisher chute seemed like it was a mile long (it was probably close). We grabbed some snacks, a heat blanket (which was needed) and our medals!
Then we headed to the medal tent to collect our Remix Challenge medals. They don’t mail these to you, so you have to make sure to pick it up before you leave the runner’s finish chute. I chose to forgo the beer at the end because I was so freaking cold. The wind gusts were picking up and a was shivering. I texted Nat to find out where she was and we met up with her in front of the Bellagio and got to see the fountain show. BTW, if you hadn’t heard yet, Nat KILLED her first race back since her surgery. I’ll leave it at that, you can read about it in her recap when she publishes it.
Official finish: 2:13:02
We walked back to Mandalay Bay as fast as we could because we were popsicles.
We got back to the hotel and had to admire the bling! The medals pretty much rocked.
We all got showered and headed out to dinner, mexican food. OMG was it good. And to close out our amazing weekend we made a stop at the top of Mandalay Bay at their “club” The Foundation Room for one of the most amazing views ever…The rain had stopped and the winds had died down and it was the perfect way to end the weekend.
The race swag was pretty sweet! The medal even glows in the dark!
The next morning I was up bright and early. I won’t go into too much detail, but I had a 14 hour travel day. Yes, 14 hours. I had to fly west to go east and it wasn’t all that fun! I flew from Vegas to LAX, to Chicago and then DC. That’s what happens when you fly standby (we fly standby because hubby is a pilot for the airline). I was really bummed that I couldn’t make the We Run Social meetup on Monday morning too but such is life I guess. I hope to run into those guys again someday!
Anyway, this seriously was one of the most epic weekends I’ve had ever….with the exception of Paris. I would highly recommend it if you get the chance. The strip only shuts down twice a year….for New Years and the #stripatnight. Now I’m trying to figure out how to convince the hubby to go run it with me next year and go through the Run Through Wedding so we can renew our vows for our 10th anniversary. LOL. He thinks I’m crazy, I think it would be hilarious and so much fun.epic weekend at #thestripatnight, race recap on the blog! via @suzy399 @runrocknroll #rocknblog #fitfluential… Click To Tweet
Check out this awesome footage reel that Rock N Roll put together for me. A lot of the video is from videos that I had taken throughout the weekend!
*I was given a complimentary entry to the Remix Challenge as part of my affiliation with Rock N Blog, but all opinions are my own.*
Have you ever run a race without a watch?
How do you fuel for a night race?
So what do you think? Renew my vows next year during the race? Who’s coming?