fifth las vegas marathon draws 30,000-plus runners
More than 30,000 runners from all 50 states and 52 countries will converge on the Strip today for the fifth running of the Rock ’n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half-Marathon, scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. in front of Mandalay Bay, with the finish line near The Mirage.
The event, which will take place largely under the lights of Las Vegas Boulevard for the third straight year, will include a new race this year — the Zappos.com Half of the Half, which will start at Mandalay Bay at 3:30 p.m. and finish downtown near Container Park.
The sold-out, 6.5-mile race will feature 2,500 runners.
“It’s a good way to bring new runners into the event who weren’t ready for the half marathon or full marathon distance,” event director Adam Zocks said. “Also, (race sponsor) Zappos.com really wanted to bring the focus to downtown Las Vegas. That’s why we’re finishing the race in the city.”
About 23,000 runners are expected to run the 13.1-mile half marathon — which is run almost entirely on the Strip and winds through Fremont Street — and almost 5,000 are expected to go the distance in the 26.2-mile marathon, which covers much of the same ground but also extends several miles west and northwest of downtown before winding back to the Strip.
The marathon course will take runners under the Fremont Street Experience canopy on their way out and back.
The event was moved from the first weekend of December to avoid a conflict with the National Finals Rodeo and for better weather.
In response to the Boston Marathon bombings earlier this year, Zocks said there will be an increased police and security presence at the event, which will require all checked gear to be in a clear plastic bag.
Major road closures will begin to take effect at 2 p.m.
The All-American Rejects, one of 25 live bands lined up for the event, will play a prerace concert from 3 to 4 p.m. at the start line.
TODD DEWEY/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL