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‘World’s largest running party’ back on Strip with new start, finish lines

Billed as the world’s largest running party, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series Las Vegas returns to the Strip this weekend and will showcase several new elements, including new start and finish lines.

The new start line village for Sunday’s half-marathon and 10K races on closed-off Las Vegas Boulevard is located on Toshiba Plaza, outside of T-Mobile Arena.

The new start line is in front of New York-New York on the Strip, and the new finish line is in front of the Fountains of Bellagio.

“It’s probably one of the best start and finish lines in the world,” race director Nicole Christenson said. “What we create here is not just a running event, it is a full-fledged running party. Our finish line in front of the Bellagio, we actually have transformed it into a finish-line party.

“From the moment you cross the finish line, you’re going to get a glow-in-the-dark medal, and we have prosecco at the finish line. We’ve really created something that is not done anywhere else on earth.”

Last year’s half-marathon started across from the Waldorf Astoria and finished in front of The Mirage.

Another new event debuting Sunday is lululemon’s “Yoga on the Strip.” The sold-out one-hour event will feature 300 Rock ‘n’ Roll participants joining in on a race-morning yoga session in front of New York-New York.

“This is the first time there has been any sort of live yoga done on closed Las Vegas Boulevard. We’re super excited about that,” Christenson said.

Lululemon is designing and printing a special-edition yoga mat for participants and bringing in their instructors, she said.

“It’s a party,” Christenson said. “There will be a live DJ. It’s a new experience to add to the fold of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas event.”

The yoga event is scheduled for noon. The start line village opens at 2 p.m., and the half-marathon and 10K races will start at 4:30 p.m.

More than 21,000 runners are registered for Sunday’s races, which will be run entirely on Las Vegas Boulevard.

Runners will start in the southbound lanes and travel close to Sunset Road before turning around and passing the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. They’ll continue in the northbound lanes into downtown before heading back south on the Strip to the finish line.

En route to the finish of the 13.1-mile trek, runners can take the world’s largest selfie at Resorts World, which will stream the half-marathon live on its 100,000 square-foot LED screen.

“People can stop and take pictures of themselves on the Resorts World LED screen,” Christenson said.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas event also features a 5K race at 5 p.m. Saturday in downtown with more than 6,000 participants, starting at Bridger Avenue and Fourth Street. The 5K finishes on Fremont Street under SlotZilla, the world’s largest slot machine.

There is also a health and fitness expo before Saturday’s race from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Resorts World, and a fan fest event at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

This is the 26th year of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series and the 14th version of the Las Vegas event, which started in 2009 but didn’t run in 2020 or 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the series returned in 2022, it removed the full 26.2-mile marathon that had been run here previously.

“It was just really tricky to find the mileage that we felt showed the best parts of the city, and gave participants the great experience,” Christenson said. “Plus, it’s kind of all about the party. We’ve doubled down on the world’s largest running party.”

Christenson said Las Vegas is the crown jewel of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Series and that 90 percent of the participants come from outside of the city.

“Not only is Las Vegas the most popular in our series, but Las Vegas really does lead the endurance world in experiential event creation,” she said. “We really try to make this an experience that is unlike any other. You have to see it to believe it.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on X.

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