The streets signs were up last week near the Las Vegas Strip. The ones indicating road closures Sunday, meaning one thing and one thing only.
The race, first held in 1967, is among the oldest marathons in the country and features tens of thousands of runners annually from all parts of the world. More than 35,000 are registered to run in this year’s marathon or half-marathon. They’ll start their journey at 4:30 p.m. and conclude it under the neon lights on the Strip.
Runners will pass some of the city’s most notable landmarks and buildings, including the MGM Grand, the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign and the fountains near the Bellagio. They’ll also have access afterward to some exclusive parties at The Cromwell, MGM Grand and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Stephen Kiogora set the race record for men in 2005, completing the 26.2-mile stretch in 2 hours, 11 minutes, 58 seconds. Sylvia Skvortsova set the women’s record two years later with a time of 2:29:01.
For many marathoners, though, completing the grueling race in an accomplishment in and of itself. One well worth the price of registration.
“To be able to do it, even though I’m doing it slower, is more meaningful because of my age,” said 60-year-old Randy Lazer, who is preparing to run his 18th consecutive Las Vegas marathon. “Every marathon is different. Sometimes I joke that it’s my annual pilgrimage pain. You’re in great shape, and you run it and you’re strong. And when you cross that line, it’s really something.”
What: Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon
When: 4:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Race starts in parking lot behind Planet Hollywood and ends at The Mirage on Las Vegas Boulevard