Woo hoo! I officially completed my fifth and last Rock ‘n’ Roll event of 2009. (And my 8th 1/2 marathon of 2009.) My time isn’t pretty – 3:42:37 – but hey, I did all 13.1 miles on my own two feet without cutting any corners along the way. I was 17,005 overall out of 17,827 finishers. I’m really glad that I made the decision to go to Las Vegas because it was a really fantastic experience. I still think the Disneyland Half was my favorite of the year, but RnR Las Vegas definitely comes in at a close second.
I’m going to do a longer race report, but for now I thought I’d mention a few things I noticed that were different than the previous Rock ‘n’ Roll events I’ve experienced.
1) The Expo was packed. There was actually a line to pick up race packets this time. Now, Chicago and San Jose were 1/2 marathons only so there were definitely less participants. But I don’t remember Arizona or Seattle being that crowded either. Also, the set up of the vendor booths at the Expo didn’t help matters. Usually there’s sort of a clear path where you go down one row and up the next so at least the crowd is sort of moving in the same direction. But it seemed like instead the booths were set up in a grid sort of checkerboard style (the best way I can think of to describe it) so traffic patterns were crazy with people cris-crossing everywhere.
2) There were lot less bands and cheerleaders than usual, although I didn’t really miss it because there was so much to see just walking along The Strip. Maybe all the entertainment was out on the marathon course.
3) I don’t know if you can tell from the photo below, but instead of having volunteers handing out GU it was all just piled up on tables. I actually liked this because I didn’t have to figure out which volunteer was holding the flavor I wanted. (It also made it easy to grab a couple extra GUs.) I took the photo on the way out, and I wondered if they’d run out by the time I made it back along The Strip to mile 9.2, but they had plenty left when I went by.
4) So this is the one thing that bugged me the most about the entire event. At the finish line, I was handed my medal like this.
What’s up with that? I just walked 13.1 miles. I don’t want to have to stop and rip the plastic off my medal. I want to put it on right away! I earned it! The rest of the finisher’s area was well laid out and easy to get through, although that might have been a result of me finishing so late rather than the race organization. Like with the GU, there was still plenty of heat sheets, water, and other refreshments left when I got there. Oh, but I did think it was a little weird that the oranges weren’t sliced or cut. Normally I don’t pay attention so maybe that’s how it always is, but lately I’ve been having a craving for oranges. Unfortunately the one I grabbed wasn’t so sweet.