Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon Race Report – Ava Sorell

Race: Rock and Roll Las Vegas

Runner: Ava Sorell

Race Date: 02/26/2023

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada


Strava Activity Link:

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  1. Race started at 4:30pm, which is when I usually run (you morning people can keep your sunrise training)
  2. The downhill from miles 2-9 let you groove and focus on efficiency (and bank some time below goal pace).
  3. Running on The Vegas Strip was fun! We finished early enough to get a selfie with Laura Thweatt! 🙂

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

The last 4 miles uphill was longer and more challenging than it seemed. It was tempting to go too hard on the first 2 miles of it. A few of the elite women dropped out from miles 10-12.

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

I wanted to run the Marathon OTQ pace (1:18:30), and went well under with the 1:16:57! 🙂

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

Yes and No. The course makes it easy to be efficient and PR. If you use the middle miles to go slightly faster than pace, but not overly so, and you make sure to pace yourself for a full 4 miles on the uphill at the end, you’ll almost certainly PR at this race.

Having a good HRM on your wrist, and being dialed in with where your Lactate Threshold is (mine is 183/184) is really useful in not overdoing it.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

*** For those that don’t know ***

The lead car led the elite field the wrong way (which was awful given there was >$40,000 in prize money at this race, and this screw up affected final places). Everyone who went through the first mile in sub 5:35 was instructed to turn early, cutting a full Kilometer off of the race. Only the top 3 women were affected, and a bike chased them down and made them turn around and backtrack the miles (with Laura T. needing to back track the furthest… She didn’t pass me until mile 8 because she had to run an extra .7 miles). The men’s field was all disqualified (which is why the men’s results start around 1:12).

It was a huge screw up, and was really wild to watch live as they made the course correction right in front of me. (I still ran the full course, but only had ~10 people in front of me instead of ~80).

Competition – Is there a strong field?

Most years it’s only moderately competitive. But this year it was the site for the Rock and Roll Championships, so there was a large purse and it was significantly more competitive than normal.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

  • It’s Vegas, so there was plenty of lodging. The race didn’t affect lodging availability like it would at smaller cities. You could register online up to the week before the race.
  • If you are sub 1:25 for Women and sub 1:11 for men, you qualify for the Elite program for any Rock and Roll race, which is a really nice perk

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

Every 2 miles

Weather and typical race conditions

55 degrees, 10 MPH wind

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

Definitely 4 stars out of 5. The course is a great speed workout. The strip is pretty, but I’ve ran prettier races.