The Nightmare on the Strip: Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon Full of Sin

I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon last night and it was the worst put on marathon that I’ve ever toed the starting line for.  I’ve run 42 marathons/ultras and this one took the cake for futility by a long shot.

8,000 of us full marathoners started at 4:00pm with 36,000 half marathoners starting at 5:30pm.  The full marathoners started and immediately left the strip for about 85 turns in the first 13 miles before we returned to the strip.  When we did we merged with the half marathoners onto 2 and 3 lanes of the road. Most of us merging were relatively fast marathoners. Not superstars but not near the back of the pack either. We were merging with half marathon corrals 30-44….slower half marathoners that were dominating all lanes of the road.  Not all but many of which were walking.

The marathoners were supposed to have the far left lane but it was unenforced and unenforceable.

Bedlam ensued!

Runners were pushing slower runners out of the way. Walkers were hitting runners with their swinging arms. Several runners bit the asphalt. Runners were having to hop the sidewalk, when possible, to get past slow logjams.  Runners were cussing at other runners and walkers.

I overhead a pious marathoner on the plane this morning say this. “I was running and these two walkers were swinging their arms wide leaving me no room. So I pushed their arms out of the way and ran through them.  They called me a ‘f**ing a**hole’ and I yelled back to them, ‘Maybe if you were faster you could speed up and kick my a**.'”

Just horrible!

I’ve read several tweets about runners having to be rushed to the hospital last night because of the conditions and over-crowding.

And you can imagine when a combined 40,000 runners plus would come upon 3 tables of water or Cytomax that the pushing, shoving and slowdown only intensified.

Rumor has it that the RNR people want to have 61,000 at the race next year to set the world record.  If they allow that many runners in next year without extreme improvement then an even bigger disaster awaits them.

I felt bad for runners running their first full or half marathon.  What a bad experience and taste to be left in one’s mouth from this marathon of a disaster. I hope they find a smaller, more organic race in the near future to baptise them anew with how great and fun our sport can be under better circumstances.

Everyone I’ve talked to that ran was upset and outraged in a similar fashion.  Some of the best complaints were on the RNR Las Vegas Marathon/Half Marathon Facebook page.

Comments from Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon Facebook Page:

Holly Miller – What is the value of a full marathon medal when you hand them out to half marathon participants? Sad and disappointed to hear the bands complaining that their fingers hurt, and the cherry on top- green bananas! I ran California International Marathon in the morning before running Vegas that night and I am blown away that for half the price CIM offered a significantly better experience.

Philip Rupp – This marathon was my 13th marathon that I have done. I have done small races that have less then 1,000 people and large races like NY and Chicago. But I have to say I would not recommend for any to do this marathon. I would recommend the half. The full is not worth it. They might as well just get rid of the marathon and only have the half. 3,766 finishers in the full and 33,123 in the half. Us in the full were treated like second class citizens and we paid more to do the race. Also agreed very unsafe.

Jason Turner – This is one of those rare occasions that a dis like or extemely dislike button would be incredibly useful on facebook. After having to literally run 3 miles from Wynn to the start, because the shuttles abandoned a few hundred people at Wynn, I found the course poorly laid out and cramped. Total crap I want a refund.

Violeta Lopez – Well I know you have been bombarded by ugly comments, its my third year running LV ..planning to go back every year EVEN if it goes UP to $175 which is kind of ridiculous… anyways I ran the full, the cut out for it was 4:30… how can u expect runners to finish in that time if there was so many Half marathoners walking right after we hit the strip, I think you planning this to be a Half marathMaybe poles with a string to divide the side for the half and the full like in the SF marathon at the Golden Bridge, Im not blaming any half marathoners here its just you and your bad organization on this event, we are already tired from running 13.1 to be putting up with this mess, not to mention the price we did PAY for it!!! thank you and i hope in one future you will solve this problem i think is a pretty neat idea but it needs to be planned a little more!

Lisa Miller – I have participated in over 20 marathons/half-marathons and the logistics following this one were the worst ever. I was one of the thousands of people trapped in the Mandalay Bay walkways with no where to go. The crowd wasn’t moving, people were trying to go in opposite directions and people were passing out all around me. It took over 30 minutes for security personnel to arrive and attempt to disperse the crowds. Once the crowds started moving there were over a dozen people on the ground that had to be treated by emergency personnel. This was definitely a nightmare!

Jason Lee Schenck – Ok, I have to get this off my chest. So, I finished the first half in 1:49, so I had a decent pace going…until we merged with the halfers. Many were walking in the marathon lane and slowed my pace to 11:00/mile. When a group of girls were walking in the marathon lane and I couldn’t get around them, I yelled, “Half to the right…please!”. One of the girls turned around got in my face & yelled..

Greta Hanson – Am completely blown away by the overwhelming lack of response by the RNR team and those who support this page. Their lack of communication and acknowledgement of what went down last night puts the final nail in the coffin: I will never run another RNR rave or event put on by Competitor. It’s clear they have no concern for the runners or their experience.

Walt Schneider – Little tired of the “What did you expect?” comments. If you are a runner and you signed up for a “Marathon”, I think you would expect it to be conducted like a Marathon and not just a clever title like the World’s Largest Night Run.

Charlene Ragsdale – You money hungry mongers! U were so ill equipped to handle this event. I spent the night in the hospital because of your lack of willingness to provide medical care. I am a 1:44 half.marathoner and hv run several night races. I am done with RnR. Hope you get sued.

Jenee’ Blundell – I won’t repost all of the previous complaints about the race itself, which are valid in my opinion. But I feel the need to repost to the half marathoners…as said previously us marathoners had a tiny, broke up, slanted, wet part of the road you all had a very large space. I spent my second half jumping up and down curbs and dodging half marathoners that were in our lane. I was pissed every time I had to scurry around a half marathoner that was rudely in our section! Respect the distance of the marathon and respect fellow runners. I love runners because everyone is so positive and encouraging and we support one another in our efforts to reach our goals. I wasn’t feeling that last night.

John Valli – I volunteered in medical at the finish line but I spent most of the time in (attempted) crowd control since it is hard to spot somebody fall when 500 people are jammed into such a small area. I saw lots of bottlenecks at photos and medals but was unable to do anything about it. I know they were well short on volunteers this year but even apart from that as has been stated many times, there just wasn’t enough planning to make a 40,000+ person race run smooth.

Gael Henville – If you want to right all of the wrongs of yesterday; you should consider the power of your bosses: runners. I do hope your PR folks are hard at work with a satisfactory response and a respectful compensation for yesterday’s epic disaster of a race. To not address these issues in a timely manner would be a great injustice to me and my fellow running mates. In advance, thank you.

Karen Schroeder – This race was ridiculous. I can’t believe you all actually CHOSE to put that many people on the strip and START them so that they could run together. That togetherness was an utter nightmare. You cost a lot of people their PRs and caused too many injuries related to over crowding. I’m sorry, Rock and Roll, but you’ve lost many customers. Get your stuff together. I’m leaving extremely frustrated that I invested and actually PAID for this “experience.”

Rachna Sizemore Heizer – And the half marathoners who complained about being asked to leave the 3 feet wide lane allotted to the full marathoners – really?? You all had 90% of the road and you complained about being asked to move into your own lane? The marathoners were given the worst part of the street – the slant of the road, the sticky part next to the water tables AND the widest turns on all the turns and you still complained because you couldn’t have the entire road to your disposal?? Respect the distance we were running and your fellow runners. Shame on you.

Jon Chernila – The crowding at the merge of the full with the half should not have come as a surprise to RnR. I passed on a chance to pace the 3:50 group once I figure out this WAS going to happen. I emailed the RD and posted about it on this page a couple months ago. With a 90 minute start differential, only the fastest marathoners were going to get past the merge without a crowd. Starting the full 30-45 minutes earlier would have solved most of the problem.

Steve Reincke – As a runner that trained for 7 months to do a 3:40 full I was on track until I hit the WALL of people at the 1/2. No control of the Full vs. Half lanes was so disappointing! Ran 8:04 miles for the first 1/2 then over 10 minutes per mile killed my opportunity for PR. TOO many runners for too narrow of a course. GREED rears it’s ugly head on the LV R&R Marathon!

DeAnn Mena – My very first half marathon event so I really don’t have much to compare it too. However what happened inside the mandalay bay was absolutely horrible, unsafe, and totally inexcusable. Running out of water, citomax, was also very unsafe!!! Not having enough medals for people is just downright rediculous. And wtf is up with your sizing chart of the tshirts?

Jennifer Lucas – The actual half course was great! The amount of people on the course that were clueless about race edicate was dangerous. The volunteers needed better information and commitment. With 44,000 people and compact conditions PEOPLE WITH HIKING/WALKING POLES, DOGS ON LEASHES AND BABY STROLLERS SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO RACE AND REMOVED IMMEDIATELY.

Kelsey Sibanda – I ran the half and felt awful for the marathoners. Bummer that they shoved you all into a sliver of the road and didn’t clearly mark where the line was. And I’m still not sure how so many walkers were in front of me. That is just bad etiquette. Stay with your corral and if you need to walk a little, stay to the right for everyone’s safety.

Raegan Carter – This was my first RnR event and my first half marathon. I started in corral 39 since I knew I’d be slow. First half of the race was fine (except for tying to stay out of the way of the marathoners- why the hell they planned it to merge marathoners with half-ers who planned to finish in 3:30 is beyond me), second half was horrible. Water and cytomax were gone by the time I got to the stations.

Rosie Bava – I’ve never been told to f*ck off or shut up by so many half marathoners who I dodged or politely asked to move out of the way.

Tava Bingham – What happened in Vegas clearly did not stay in Vegas. Surprised neither Rock ‘n’ Roll nor Competitor have made a statement.

Nancy Howard – If participation is anything more than what it was this year (rumor has it in the 60,000 range), TRUST ME, I will NOT be back. While I do appreciate walker participation, to have them walk 4-5 abreast was just too much. This race and the expense of traveling to this event left a very bitter experience. I must say not one person I have spoken with has not had at least one negative comment…the biggest for me…getting stuck at the finish line and unable to cross the mat due to the traffic jam. Thankfully this was not my first nor a race I was trying to PR

Denise Clancy Zack – Lackluster ending to a bitter-sweet journey… RnR 1/2 #10 ROCK IDOL for me. Felt great stopping at marathon mile 25 to help a marathoner in trouble get back on track and get her across the finish line… Only to find out there were no finisher medals left, no-post race fuel, volunteers all gone, photo guys wrapping up… and I wasn’t even last! Before you decide to host an event with this many folks again – you should make sure you have all your “medals” in a row… especially with all the money folks spend to make these events successful.

Bill Egan – First and Last Las Vegas R n R even for my wife, sister and me! Not worth repeating all the fails. Will recommend to all in the Phx area to stay away.

Elizabeth Bittner – the Vegas race chaotic! They had the Full runners meet up with the Halfer around the mid point which made it super crowded. One guy actually pushed me aside and said “get out of the way of the elite runners!”

Tara Boyle – The coordinators should be removed and an apology issued to those of us who participated and a meeting with city officials to coordinate a better route for the race, more blocked off safety for the marathon course to keep it separate from the 1/2 and actual provisions on the race route. Thanks for the pamphlet on safety and hydration – how about you read it before the next event.

Brian Pursel – I felt really bad for the marathoners. I was (on the right side of the cones) near the 3:20 pacer and witnessed a lot of angry and frustrated marathoners getting trapped by half marathoners in the left lane. I blame the organizers for poor communication and enforcement. Many first time half marathoners probably had no idea they were sharing the road with full marathoners until hearing “HALF MARATH

Breanna Rebman – I’m very sad that a good course and a great first half marathon run was overshadowed by the scary chaos at the end…I questioned after last night whether this was my first and last half …luckily many have told me that wasn’t typical…I will probably do another but I really hope I am not disappointed again

Christie Henderson – My running partner and I trained our hearts out for a personal best marathon and ended up smack in the middle of the 2.5hr half marathon crowd back at Mandalay. We ended up at 3:54 vs 3:40 and I have bruised ribs from being elbowed by slower runners in the marathon lane. Great scenery for 12 of the 42k. Mixing marathoners with halfers in that fashion is not good for anyone. Great city – disappointing the race went the way it did.

Jen Lee – Wow where to start? positives: the strip was beautiful. Negatives: what everyone else is saying-I’m too sore to type—first race I’ve been this sore after…since I had to run around everyone, jump curbs, zig zag and try to tread lightly over all the empty gel packs/water cups-eventually I knew there was no hope of recovering my usual pace.

Kate Spencer – I got so sick – nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, that I ended up in the hospital, this marathon is going to cost me a lot more than the entry fee!! Cytomax and bad water???

Dawn Hurley-Trogdon – 4th year running the strip. This year compares to how the race was organized before RnR took over. Sad for Vegas!! And of course all of us 44k runners.

Stephanie Stinson Barras – Just got a “sorry we ran out medals here is $10 off for your next race” email. Seriously?! I can get $10 with any random discount code. EPIC FAIL!!!

Sintasera Sorbetes – This is my 3rd half marathon this year and it was very disorganized. I also saw a lot of runners LITERALLY pushing others out of the way and hitting the volunteers with empty cups of water (some filled with a little water)…I had to stop and apologize on behalf of these people who were very rude. This is my first and definitely my last Rock n’ Roll marathon. It’s a shame since I actually encouraged at least 5 other people to join and some of them were traumatized by this event. NEVER. AGAIN.

Las Vegas Review Journal: Las Vegas Marathon Runners Say They Were Sickened by Bad Water

Did you run it? Leave a comment with your thoughts!



Run It Fast - The Club (JOIN TODAY)

This post was written by:

- who has written 1138 posts on Run It Fast®.

Joshua Holmes has completed 325 marathons/ultramarathons while running 100+ miles 62 including races such as the Badwater 135 (9x), Western States 100, The Last Annual Vol State 500K (4x). He is the founder of Run It Fast, the most driven club on the planet. His favorite races to date are the Vol State 500K, Badwater 135, Barkley Fall Classic, Catalina Eco Marathon, Chimera 100, Across The Years, Savage Gulf Trail Marathon, Strolling Jim 40 Miler, Tunnel Hill 100, RUTS, EC100 and the Flying Monkey Marathon in his home state of Tennessee. Follow @bayou Follow @joshuaholmes on Instagram

Contact the author

30 Responses to “The Nightmare on the Strip: Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon Full of Sin”

  1. I agree with you. I was prepared to run on the Strip at night, not to run in a nightmare on the Strip. I ran a great first half and was on pace for a 3:45 – 3:50 finish. I couldn’t believe the cluster when we joined the half marathoners. My nice pace stopped to a crawl as I attempted to dodge all the slowpokes in front of me. I ended up going on sidewalks to get around a lot of people. It was almost impossible to get enough space to run comfortably and totally impossible to maintain even a slow, steady pace. I ended up running 26.6 miles and was 20 minutes slower than I hoped to be. Then after walking from hotel to hotel for 2 and a half hours AFTER running the marathon looking for a restaurant that didn’t have a 2 hour wait, my husband and I ended up going back to our hotel room to share a bag of nuts, an apple and an orange that we had brought with us. I would’ve had a banana from the finish line but they were totally green and inedible! And the worse part is that my experience was probably better than a lot of other people. I seriously hope Competitor does something to compensate us for the negative (and expensive) experience.

  2. The race paled in comparison to the efficiency from years past… I’m sad that the big hometown race for my city had such a rough year. There were definitely logistical problems and a lot of flat-out wrong things… but it also makes me sad to hear the way runners/walkers were attacking each other. That exchange you heard on the plane was just sick.

    If they do hope to increase the size of the field for next year, I really hope they work out a lot of the problems in the courses and aid stations.

  3. Rather sad to see what RnR series has become. I was a founder of the company (Elite Racing) that created it. After my partners and I sold the company in 2008 I stuck around for a year or so but had some concerns with private equity management and could see what was coming. Now I’m in Austin creating events the way we used to. It’s always a better idea to prioritize participants over budget if you want to put on great races. My Austin 10/20 on April 15 will be a learning experience for the new rock n roll people – if they care to come out and see it.

  4. Logan Julian says:

    The race was a complete and utter sh*t show once we merged with the halfers. At one point I yelled very calmly halfers and walkers to the right please. One guy turns around and asks who do I think I am? So I tell him to get out of my way since this is for marathoners and he is walking as a half marathoner. It was just a joke. Jumping up and down curbs. Whenever the barricades allowed it, I would just run on the sidewalk due to the overcrowding. It was my first full ever and I made the turn at 1:55 which I was stoked about since I was trying for under 4. Once I crossed the finish line I got a 4:23 and I blame the crowds on a good 20 minutes of having to walk and not just be able to run. It was silly how much my pace slowed as soon as I made the turn.

  5. Thanks for the great & quick review. I agree with all your assessments & thanks for “saving” those facebook comments for future runners to see. This was my 7th RnR this year & 15th marathon. I had a great race- was mildly annoyed to have to dodge to many walkers & half-ers in the left lane but still survived. Only reading about the aftermath & how so many others had it so much worse makes me relieved that i hopped right back on the shuttle to Wynn & ordered room service. The organization was completely lacking & it was entirely too congested. I agree that most blame goes with the organizers, but i do wish they had done a better job of emphasizing proper race etiquette with runners & that the runners had been shown better sportsmanship and clas about the event.

  6. Jenee Blundell says:

    Thanks for posting my comment! I don’t mean to be condescending to the half marathoners, like I’m above them because I ran the full so I hope it didn’t sound that way but really people!!! It’s called respect! Respect your fellow runners and respect the marathon distance. I do think rnr should have made it more known that the left lane was for us. Another fb comment suggest a raving etiquette pamphlet which I think is a fabulous idea! Especially with rnr races where it draws in a lot a new runners and even non runners due to the hype and party atmosphere it’s apparent rnr did t care about their runners, they’re in it for money. I’ve ran 2 rnr and am seeing that now.

  7. Yep, that’s my comment. And it touches the tip of how I really feel. Even if I didn’t get sick, this was a disaster from the Expo onward. I truly hope they get sued. For me, I will be writing letters to every sponsor, every government official to ensure they don’t get a permit to do business in this city.

  8. nicole says:

    I am really disappointed in the recaps for this race. I was a bit jealous I wasn’t signed up – how incredibly cool it would be to run the strip at night under all those bright lights. Thank you for sharing how bad it was because the race is no longer on my wishlist.

  9. Evan Simonsen says:

    You know, I was going to leave a really long comment about everything that annoyed me about the event last night, but I got all the way through it and realized, I don’t have a basis for my arguments. I truly felt bad for the marathoners for getting cramped into that little roadway that was constantly being inundated with 1/2ers. And I was one of those people who got no cytomax at any point and had to put up with empty water stations a couple times (heck, MGD 64 had even packed up all the free beer by the time I finished), but so what?! I managed to finish, albeit in much more time than I would have liked. I didn’t get hurt, at least nothing more than some sore muscles. And I got to experience the strip in a way most locals rarely do. I get that a lot of people were injured last night. And I am incensed at RnR and Competitor for them. But to anyone who is demanding a refund or swearing off RnR altogether because it wasn’t perfect, or because the congestion caused them to miss their goal-time, I have no sympathy. You knew going in that this was an experiment. Many of you have run other marathons before. If you’ve ever run in an inaugural marathon, or an experimental one like this, then you should especially have known that there might be problems. Don’t complain because you were trying to beat your personal best time and that didn’t happen because people who were running their first 1/2 marathon ever got in your way. Congratulate them for having the courage to try it and try to break that time in your next marathon. That’s what I’m doing, I’m pushing myself a little harder so that next month in Phoenix, I can beat that time I was shooting for, and then turn around and cheer on all of the people coming after me who are pushing their hardest to achieve their personal goal. I’m sorry that last night wasn’t perfect for everyone involved, and I put all of that on incredibly poor planning, but rather than focus on all of that, why not just be happy that you finished, that you didn’t get hurt, and be proud of all the other people out there who did the same?

    • Suzanne says:

      Sorry. Didn’t know it was an experiment. I had success during the first half. I would have been JUST FINE with the lane that they allotted for the marathoners, but I didn’t have a lane.

  10. Barbara says:

    I was originally disappointed to be missing the race this year after having such a great experience in 2010. I ran the half marathon although a friend ran the full – and I am aware that the second half of the full last year was missing a lot of fan support – however fan support seems trivial compared to the issues that occurred this year. I loved running in Vegas – loved the course (that is last year) and the overall experience however I am absolutely not a fan of the Rock & Roll series. Too expensive and the fields are much too large. So many more local regional events that are put on with more care for far less money. The Chicago race has gotten too large and a portion is run on a running path which is not wide enough for the size of the race. Nashville was fine although much too large and the expo times were ridiculous for those traveling from out of town – we almost didn’t get to run because the expo closed at 5 pm on Friday evening – duh….people have to work and perhaps travel to get into town.

    The Vegas and New Orleans were my favorites (I ran New Orleans the first year it was a RnR…however I suspect that it has grown too large as well). Seriously, larger isn’t better….unless you are experienced and focused on ONE race – like the NYC Marathon – then don’t try to have so many runners.

    I just ran NYC – 40,000 runners leaving from Staten Island. No trouble whatsoever getting us all there and started. The methods used to start the NYC Marathon should be reviewed by RnR and adopted if they continue to be so greedy.

    It is a shame that they ruined the Vegas race….I had looked forward to running it again and have recommended it to many of my friends. I’ll be taking those recommendations back unless they go back to a smaller field, go back to running during the day, using the full strip, and the prior years courses.

  11. Mark C. says:

    What a poor marathon product! I certainly won’t be running this race again. As I hit the wall of half-marathoners and did my best to dip and dive without falling or cause someone else to fall, all I could think was how money-driven this event has become. This was an easy problem to fix that everyone knew about 6 months before the race. Instead they tried to kill us with cones and yelling bicyclists.

  12. Jonathan says:

    I do so much research before I run any marathon – and I run a LOT (I did Twin Cities, Chicago, Detroit & Niagara Falls this year – might I suggest these – because as runners and tourists in cities that desperately need our business – we are treated VERY well – especially Detroit and Niagara Falls). Anyway, I am so sorry for those who were treated badly at Las Vegas. I have always been tempted to run Las Vegas, Los Angeles or Phoenix, but the airfare during Dec/Jan/Mar is outrageously high…deal breaker for me.

    I know it sucks to have people curse at you and show poor sportsmanship. All I can say is that some runners lose all their scruples when they’re running a marathon and common courtesy and kindness go out the window. There’s no excuse for it, ever. There is also no excuse for running out of medals or shirts. Call it trivial if you must, but those medals/shirts symbolize something for many of us who worked HARD and trained harder to make it to our marathon! And one more thing…if I paid $150+ for ANY product (and the marathon is a PRODUCT where we expect safety, proper hydration, a clear course, and yes, our ‘hardware’ (medals and shirts) at the end. RnR needs to refund your money. I didn’t run the race, but those of you who did, and just from reading your comments, if you can get together as a large group and demand a refund, you’ll send a clear message to RnR (I think they are growing way too fast) that you paid for a product that RnR failed to deliver. As well, if you do plan to run again, mention that you’ll take your business to a city marathon that has demonstrated they value their runners and respects them as customers and as people!

    Hang in there everybody. I’ve been running marathons since I was 17 and I consider fellow marathoners my second family – the thing now that we are in the 2010’s is…all these new events popping up. Now there is a Minneapolis Marathon in May where there used to be just the Twin Cities Marathon in Oct. All these little cities and towns are coming up with their own marathons which are either less than 3 years old, or they abruptly shut down. Do your research and stick with events that are celebrating a 30-40th anniversary – they’re doing something right if they’ve been going for that long. There are plenty that do not have 40,000 runners (Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, MN is an excellent choice). And if anyone didn’t get your medals – get on these RnR people everyday if you have to. Hang in there folks!!

    • Suzanne says:

      Thanks for your post. It was awful. In comparison to San Francisco 2011, I couldn’t believe how hard of a time I was having. Halfers telling me to “Eff Off” when I asked them to move to the right. I couldn’t keep a rhythm or any sort of pace. I was running a 9:04 in the first half and over 11s my second half. No electolytes. Green bananas at the finish line. Even if I got half my money back I would be happy. It’s not cheap to run and I feel like the full marathoners were treated like second-class citizens.

  13. RobertB says:

    I was a first time volunteer bike marshal. Our local guy Tim was left in the total dark until about Wednesday before the race. We has NO IDEA was to expect and what we would be tasked with. The race day debriefing was ridiculous.

    The last thing I would ever aspire to is being the ENFORCER, but I quickly discerned the dilemna of the marathoners coming through to the left. One gal happened to be running right in front of me at my bike pace as I chanted and whistled every 2 minutes….”halves to the right, full’s coming through..” Finally, after about 15 minutes she turned around and yelled “F*ck YOU”….I totally get her frustration but why not move to the right? The was only the beginning of people chanting “hey, why don’t you try running a race instead of riding a bike..” etc, etc. The more I stared at that 4′ wide path for the full marathoners I realized how ridiculous my task was. I kept my part of the bargain but as soon as I got to our volunteer parking lot I pulled in and could hardly wait to get home. I am a runner, a tri-guy, and a community volunteer but I will NEVER volunteer for any RnR again and probably never run it again unless it resembles something like 2010.

    • ann campbell says:

      What a sucky job you had. I felt bad for you guys and it wasn’t your fault that people weren’t listening. I appreciate every volunteer I saw. You all probably took a lot of displaced anger. RnR owes you all apologies as well for putting you in such an awful position.

    • Suzanne says:

      I really appreciate your attempts to help. People were jerks about moving over. I completely lost my rhythm because people wanted to WALK in a lane that was supposed to be designated for me. So thank you for trying to help and for volunteering your time.

  14. Paula Eyvonne says:

    It is totally WRONG to blame any runners for what happened at Vegas. Total fault lies with Competitor! They are rockin’ and rollin’ in the money with complete disregard for runner support and safety. BOYCOTT ALL ROCK AND ROLL RACES or show up with a picket sign and march them all to hell!

  15. Erin says:

    This was my third marathon (I’ve done Chicago and Milwaukee) and I actually managed to PR by 10 minutes and break 4:30 for the first time. Was I frustrated by all the half-marathoners from mile 15 onward? Yes. Especially when I hit mile 20 and the exhaustion started to set in, a raging headache started, and I could feel my irritation building. Part of me wanted to scream “Get the EFF out of my way!” But at one point I looked over and realized that the half marathoners didn’t really have anywhere to go. The streets just weren’t wide enough for all of us.

    Was I disappointed in the abandoned water tables? Was I confused by the fact that there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to when they would offer Cytomax? Yes. It’s unfortunate that something as simple as fuel/aid stations still seems to be difficult for race organizers.

    I’m thankful I missed all the drama and confusion after leaving the race finisher area. It was stressful enough trying to make my way from the finish line to gear check. I’m honestly not sure how we found a shuttle so quickly but I’ll thank my friend and the fact that he thought to bring the map and was able to navigate even after running the full 26.2.

    I’ve never been a fan of the Rock n Roll series of races (too much money, too much hype, not enough follow-thru) and only ran this one to support my friends who were renewing their vows on the course. I’ll go back to avoiding the RnR series of races since it’s apparently they know how to market better than they know how to manage a race.

  16. Greg Vallarino says:

    Amen, brother. This was a poorly executed race, not within the standards set by Competitor. I submitted a complaint to the BBB because to be honest, the course was downright unsafe at times and post race was a debacle.

  17. melanie says:

    i disagree that ALL of the fault lies with Competitor…yes, TRUE in regards to running out of water and cytomax … can you say ‘dehydration’ ? they are also to blame thinking 44,000 people can coexist on three lanes without policing of the corrals and of the course BUT i have never run with more addle brained disrespectful runners…i ran the half…i have run well over 100 races, but this was only my 2nd since coming back to running after a 10 year layoff…when i used to race regularly, people CHOSE THE RIGHT CORRAL based on finish time or GOAL time. i self selected appropriately in a 10 min/mile corral and IMMEDIATELY was running around walkers, buddying across all lanes, leaving no gaps, totally unaware that people wanted to run the thing…and runners starting way slower than their corral time, too…just the worst etiquette of any race i’ve ever been in and i have been in large races…sometimes, the ‘pushy’ runner is the one trying to stay on pace and trying to judge a narrowing gap of people who should have started way further back in the pack…there is no use to corrals if runners and walkers don’t know the etiquette of why they are there and if there is no policing of who enters what corral. this is the kind of stuff race organizers know about, regardless of whether this is the first ‘night race on the strip’

  18. DeAnn Mena says:

    The idea of this race was fantastic. A night race, on the strip in Las Vegas, with live music, fun fun FUN! The lights, the music, somehow making to the Bellagio in time for the water show on my way back in was AWESOME! I cant imagine any other race having so much to look at and see, and be excited about. This one, was my first.

    However, far too many unsafe issues. Not enough water/citomax, the Tshirts (if you got one) were unrealistic sizes and we were not allowed to switch them. I was planning on wearing it for the race and I couldn’t. The lack of medals and refreshments at the end was inexcusable and I cannot talk enough about what we went through inside the Mandalay bay. I was alright when the crowd was moving, but when it turned into massive gridlock with no sign of movement for over an hour, I started to panik. Especially when people were passing out and you can hear others screaming for medics, who in no way could get to them in a timely fashion. Thank god we finally found a way out, or I would have been one of them. I felt so sorry for those people sick, and off to the side. I cant imagine if you were alone and stuck in there. 🙁

    They have to be stopped next year, from adding MORE people to this event. I dont care how many changes they make, it will not help the situations AFTER the race. It took hours for people to get back to their rooms, in the freezing cold… and if you were hungry, you were even more screwed.

    The event itself is FUN as hell! But they definitely need to make it safer!

  19. Suzanne says:

    Oh. My. God. I am soooo glad it wasn’t only me. I was apologizing to my running partner because I felt like I was being a baby, but the dodging and weaving, jumping on curbs, took a toll on me. I came in 17 minutes later than I wanted. I could not keep pace or stay in any kind of rhythm. It was brutal! I have a blood blister on my foot and my toenails were bleeding.

    They ran out of Cytomax… we were told to Eff Off by rude partying half marathoners who were given Marathon medals?? AWFUL EXPERIENCE!

  20. Michelle Berry says:

    I totally agree even though I was a halfer. But it was a full blown obstacle course at the beginning for my coral #. Seriously people were walking at the beginning and obviously were not in the correct coral # for their projected finish time.
    Also this was the very first race that I have ever run where I threw up after and almost passed out, and I’ve done a lot of races including Full Marathons in 80+ degree heat. And yes I did drink the provided water/sports drinks which I hear was contaminated.

  21. Kristin says:

    This was my second year running Vegas, and it was nothing like last year. I’m pretty sure I was seven minutes slower solely due to all the bobbing and weaving that was necessary. I didn’t get sick, and I got a medal, so I’m pretty lucky. I have to say though, as an experienced runner, whose significant other ran the full, I feel terrible for the marathoners who had to merge with us. Because even as an experienced runner, it took me a couple of miles before I realized what the ridiculous tripping hazard cones were for – to separate the half and full. I also didn’t figure out what “HALF, RIGHT, HALF, RIGHT” meant for quite a while – it meant MOVE OVER. WHY wAs no one briefed on this?? I had no idea, and if I had I would have stayed much further right, and reminded others to do the same. But I never once saw or heard anything about this, so I’m sure the less experienced runners had no idea, and probably just felt they were being treated rudely. Anyway, I felt bad. I also think it’s ridiculous that they ran out of medals. What a joke. Don’t they know how many people registered? Same with water and food.

    I’m going to stop here because the more I think about it, talk about it, and read about it, the more bitter I get, and my experience wasn’t all that bad!

  22. Ray Willard says:

    People need to be honest as to their finishing time. The Cooper River Bridge Run is the same way. All you have to do is submit your goal time and you go in that corral. It’s time all races do what NY and Boston do if you want to run their race. You need a race time from a previous race at that distance and that’s the corral you are placed in. No moving up with bouncer types to keep you honest and out of that corral. I did the half and had a great time, but I also could not get to my #2 start and had to just go when I could get in any corral. Both the start and finish reminded me of those soccer games when people just pushed and shoved until a fence or barrier broke and chaos ensued. RnR is very lucky no runner or walker died. Greed rules and Disney is second on the list to make as much as they can, but they are a little better about safety and have good volunteers.

  23. Samantha says:

    I didn’t run- but I live in town, and I can’t agree more about the HORRIFIC planning! The marathon happened right during NFR, at a time just when street traffic starts trying to move in that part of town of town to get people to rodeo events- a ten day event that historically brings 100K people to town. SO…we have the marathon and a huge influx of street traffic in a highly concentrated area of town- where was Metro to put their priorities? The marathon should have come out of pocket to pay for the extra security to enforce the lane restrictions that were necessary to keep the runners safe. I ran a much smaller event locally and it was so confusing to newbies like myself as to where to go and the right rout and lane that simple lane markers would have helped!


  1. […] Gosselin ran the first half in 2:15:51 before hitting the massive traffic jam of half marathoners on Las Vegas Boulevard (Full Story HERE). […]

  2. […] out of medals at any event is a disaster, but it was the least of the disasters Sunday night (Full Story). #gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; […]

  3. […] last big half marathon event was several years ago. It was the Rock-N-Roll Vegas strip at night. The one that was a total disaster from start to finish – literally. Since then I knew I wanted to do a Disney half to cancel out the previous negative experience. […]

Leave a Reply

Run It Fast on Twitter

twitter button free