There were 44,000 runners and walkers registered for the event. The course started and ended at Mandalay Bay. The full marathon started at 4:00 PM and the half started an hour and a half later.
I walked to the Mandalay Bay starting area with a couple of Sole Runners, Barb and Kerri.
The evening was warmer than expected and I welcomed the respite from the harsh Las Vegas winds.
After a seemingly endless line and my much needed bathroom visit, Kerri and I found ourselves running after the official Tail Vehicle down the starting chute.
Articles of throwaway clothing were randomly strewn on the race course and I almost tripped over a bulky sweatshirt.
The full marathoners also merged with the half on the left side but the only barrier was the occasional orange cone with a small sign indicating Marathon to the left and Half to the right.
Aid stations on the left side of the course only exacerbated the situation because everyone was crossing over into the narrow marathon lane to get water.
At around Mile 4, I told Kerri I wasn't feeling well. I moved to the right and slowed my pace as I tried to scope out upcoming porta-potties.
Since we were running in an industrial section off The Strip, I couldn't find a business to run into to use their bathroom.
I even ran off the course to a gas station but the attendant refused to let me use the facility.
I somehow managed to make it to the porta-potties at Mile 7.5.
I also considered making myself throw up and wondered if that would ease the intestinal cramping.
As I was walking, I realized I somehow missed the Run-Thru Wedding Chapel at Mile 3.
I thoroughly enjoyed the portions of the course that were on The Strip with its abundance of quintessential neon lights.
The billboard at the finish confused me because I thought I'd reached the Finish Line but it was actually a quarter of a mile around a curve.
I was too dehydrated and hungry to get a second wind so I just jogged across the Finish Line.
I needed some soda to settle my stomach and something to eat to ease the cramps. Unfortunately, they had only water and unripe green bananas that could not even be peeled.
There was a food concession adjacent to the finish area. I tried to buy a ginger ale but was informed they had closed for the night. After I asserted how badly I was in need of that soda, the guy angrily handed it to me at no charge.
Inside the hotel was pure chaos. The taxi line was unfathomable. There was confusion surrounding the availability of post-race shuttles.
Although the ginger ale had soothed my stomach, I was still feeling weak from lack of food. Luckily, Kerri was able to sustain me with a bag of pretzels.
I must admit I was disappointed by the entire Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas experience.
It was unfortunate that an event of this magnitude from a national franchise like the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series would be so poorly executed.