Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon heads under lights

The organizers of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and several local officials are set to make a significant announcement today regarding the 2011 running of the event.

San Diego-based Competitor Group, which in 2009 took over and remodeled the financially beleaguered event, will unfurl its next major stride: the marathon and off-shoot half-marathon will take place in the evening, under the lights of the Strip, on Dec. 4.

Competitor would not confirm the shift, but a source with knowledge of the announcement verified the move Monday afternoon. A news conference will take place at Fashion Show Mall at 5:15 p.m. today, with event officials joined by Mayor Oscar Goodman and Clark County Commission Chair Susan Brager, among others.

For years, the marathon has had an early-morning start, generally around 6 a.m. By that time, with the sun rising, the effect of the bright lights and megaresorts wasn’t as strong as participants — and Competitor Group — would have liked.

In 2009, the first year under the Rock ‘n’ Roll banner, Competitor made an immediate splash by expanding the event’s presence on the Strip.

Last year, the company added a title sponsor — Henderson-based — and, more important, acquired even more Strip access for both races, with the half-marathon contested almost entirely on Las Vegas Boulevard. Getting more of the full Strip effect probably seemed the next logical step.

Though Competitor has been tight-lipped on today’s announcement, the company’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series Facebook page included the following clue to the big move: "Ever wondered how many lights are on the Las Vegas Boulevard strip? So have we. Check out the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas (website) for an announcement on March 8 to have all your questions answered."

Contact reporter Patrick Everson at or 702-383-0353.

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