The Las Vegas Strip is pretty impressive at any time of day, no doubt about it, but the real glitz and glamour and magic and drama happen when the sun goes down and the neon turns on. Whenever I’m driving home from Utah at night and see the glow of Vegas as I come over the hill, something inside me just feels a little more… alive.
So the races will begin in the evening… the full marathon starting at 4:00 PM and the half starting at 5:30 PM. (And to quote the organizers… times are subject to change!) Since the race is in December, it will be completely dark as the half starts and pretty solidly into dusk for the marathon.
The other big changes come to the full marathon… it is capped at 5000 runners and it has a time limit of 4 hours and 30 minutes. That is a TIGHT time limit and will exclude a lot of finishers from the past. I can understand that it is hard to get Las Vegas roads closed down, in particular The Strip region, so obviously they can’t just keep it closed down for hours upon hours. But that faster time frame does seem to be in conflict with the model of the Rock ‘n’ Roll series, which to me has always seemed like a moving party that caters to and welcomes all abilities. (Okay, I feel lots of races are a moving party, races are fun!)
A lot of people are complaining about the price, which is definitely steep. They had special earlybird pricing on March 8-10: $121 for either distance. Registration will shut down until May at which time prices will range from $130 to $175 depending on the distance and the date. Many of my friends here feel there should be a locals pricing, which would be kind of attractive, but I don’t see it as being probable. Unlike the overpriced shows in the area that have long runs and frequently offer a locals rate, this race is just once a year, not the same business model.
Many are saying the organizers are being greedy with these fees… but after learning what barricade plans for the upcoming Summerlin Half Marathon cost, I can only imagine that it is A LOT more for the busier area that is The Strip.
I do think it would be cooler if the race was on Saturday night, instead of Sunday night. Then people could still get a little bit of time to “play” in Vegas on Sunday (the way so many people plan to play here) and/or travel home for work. The Sunday night makes it harder for people to travel home after the race, unless they want to take a red-eye in the middle of the night.
I’m sure the race will sell out, it’s sparked a lot of discussion online, no matter how excited or angry people are with the change it’s generating buzz. I’m not worried about securing a spot, because I’ll be covering the course as a coach with Team Challenge once again. From my point of view, the challenges I’m facing are on helping my team know how to fuel for a night race (that’s a challenge!) as well as being able to pick my runners/walkers out of the crowd when it’s dark… that’s hard enough when it is light outside!
What do you think about the race being at night? Does that make it seem more exciting to you, silly or indifferent? What about the fees, do you have budget caps on what you’ll spend on a race?