That Time I Ran Between A Rockstar’s Legs: RNR 5k Recap

It was time to take RNR Las Vegas off my race bucket list and turn it into a reality for 2017. After registering for the half-marathon over the summer, I toyed with the idea of adding the 5k to my itinerary in order to receive the Remix Challenge medal.

Expo

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Entering the Expo

After a quick monorail ride from the MGM Grand, the expo was located just a few steps from the Convention Center station. Volunteers and a collection of signs pointed participants in a counter clockwise loop, the bib pickup being stop #1. Next, I was ushered towards a shirt table, where I was given my pre-selected size in a plastic drawstring backpack that contained some samplings of SmartyPants vitamins and a Black Forest Gummy packet.

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Countdown to Chocolate!

The next section of the expo was dedicated to Brooks gear allowing eager attendees to try on the latest in footwear or buy Las Vegas specific wear. The most popular item to be noted at the 2017 expo was the neon yellow, Vegas Strong shirt.

As I stood in the merchandise line, it took close to an hour. I felt as if I were waiting for one of Disney’s newest attractions! I wish I had been in possession of a Tourpass as one of the perks was an express checkout lane for holders.

Vendor booths took up the rest of the expo with retailers selling anything from clothes and shoes to nutrition. This would be my thirteenth half, and by now, I like to think I know what works for me, so I passed on through.

As I neared the exit, a small section was devoted to Rock n’ Roll event registration. Medals that screamed, “I would look really good around your neck or fastened on your wall one day,” glistened as they hung from their mounts right above the registration tables.

With computers open to the registration page and my debit card placed in my hand so conveniently, I headed to the desk and signed up for the evening’s 5k. Aren’t you supposed to go big or go home while in Vegas? With only a couple hours before the run, I headed back to my hotel in order to rest before a nice 3 mile shakeout.

Pre-Race

Taking the monorail back to the SLS Station proved to be an interesting ride. The cars were full, sardine cans on steroids full. When the monorail came to an abrupt stop, there was no need to hold onto anyone or thing because no one was going anywhere. What must have looked like the word’s largest parade of clowns exiting a car, I headed out of the station and through the hotel with my fellow runners.

Across the street, stood lines of runners trying to gain access into the Festival Grounds. While I appreciated added security checking bags, this process was slow. Only a few lanes were open to 7,000 runners. I did not even possess a bag but could not see an expedited way through.

I paid a quick trip to a huge row of indoor bathroom stalls. These were a nice touch and it was pretty funny to see fellow runners taking selfies and hear their commentary.

Once at the start, I noticed security attempting to keep runners honest but still I saw a few people surge ahead toward their desired corral. Since it was only a 5k and the road was wide enough, this did not cause any problems that I noticed during the run.

Race

The course took me out along Industrial road. This course leaves the eyes searching for a little bit more, but with a quick three miles, there is not too much time to overthink the lack of scenery. Since it was an out and back, I was able to cheer on the front runners which is always fun!

On a road littered with potholes, I focused on the handful of stations along the course, complete with music and flashing lights. While these were DJ’s rather than live bands, it was still nice to have some entertainment on course. Before I knew it I was already returning back into the festival grounds and even ran between a rockstar’s legs!

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Over the roads and through the legs… 😛

This impromptu decision turned out to be fun and the perfect shakeout before Sunday’s half! I collected my medal, finisher’s snacks and turned in for the evening. While the Goo Goo Dolls were scheduled to perform just after the 5k instead of at the start of the half, I was a tad too chilly to sit and enjoy.

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Concert Stage

With a little more entertainment, runner specific monorail trains and more security lanes, RNR is close to having a flawless 5k event. I enjoyed a chance to stretch the legs over some flat and fast road while adding some nice hardware to my collection. With tuned strings, I was ready to rock the remainder of the weekend.

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Selfie with my medal

The Runologist

A Cool Cat in France: Disneyland Paris 5k Recap

Lumiere and many of his inanimate pals helped illuminate the sky and course path for the Disneyland Paris 5k. While I was lucky enough to run last year, I was excited to see the change to an evening race for the 2017 weekend. The race was slated for an 8 o’clock start, just outside the Disney Village. Dressed as the cheshire cat, I headed to my corral about thirty minutes before the scheduled start.21685977_10155119278321902_8817163819654181863_n

Corral A was located at the front steps of Disney’s Sequoia Lodge with corrals B and C curving back around Lac Disney towards the Newport Bay Hotel. I felt the race staff took advantage of the area by having floating barges showcasing DJs and dancers. These boats glided along the edge of the water, filling the crowd and air with contagious energy! It was fun to see the volunteer’s individual personality come out through their dance moves whether it was a Pop & Lock or motioning a worm. As each barge floated by, blasting music and demonstrating some wicked dance moves, it put me in a good mood for the 5k.

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Pre 5K Party Boats!

Due to heavy congestion of people exiting the parks, runners were not released until closer to 8:30. While the delay was frustrating for those with young ones or a 10k start just a few hours later, it was important to remember that it was only a 5k; a chance to have fun!

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Start line

After an anxious start, 5k participants were finally released! The course took runners through the Disney Village, where eager attendees rattled against gate barriers, hoping to catch a glimpse of friends or family members. Runners entered Walt Disney Studios park by the front lot, where colorful lights danced and created luminescent glowing images against the asphalt. Even Cinderella and Prince Charming were stationed for photographs!

The beginning of the course was very slow. Unfortunately, families with young children were placed in corrals A and B. Most of the kids to the front of me acted very much like dogs chasing squirrels, running in each and every direction!  While the parents may have been fit, little legs can only go so far without stopping in front of a pack of runners. My legs were getting whiplash by the constant stops and sprints, attempting to avoid numerous small children. After the first mile I was able to bypass most, making the remainder of the course fun and enjoyable!

Stationed by Crush’s Coaster stood fervent cast members chanting in french, as well as some characters from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. A quick loop around the Toy Story themed section of the park and I was almost halfway home. I loved the next section of the course as Disney decided to use the Studio Tram Tour path for a good section of the race. There are many objects to look at from older Disney films such as cars used in 101 Dalmatians and a scene of London in ruins from Reign of Fire. This is a nice wooded loop area that provides nice detail to distract the mind from the miles ahead.

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Proof that cats and rats can be friends!

Just as runners reached the home stretch, a camera sending live feed to a giant screen, documented each runner’s arrival onto the Moteurs… Action! Stunt Show Spectacular stage. This lovely set showcases french shops and markets that motorcycles and cars perform stunts on during normal park hours. While there were no zooming motorcycles performing wheelies to distract runners, Remy and Emile were there receiving hugs and Bonjours!  After a quick photo with two of my favorite rats, I pounded the pavement, finding myself at the finish, where I received my Lumiere themed medal.

Similarly to the Disney races in the states, this 5k was not timed. The course was lovely in function and entertainment, however I missed running through the main park. If you have never been to Disneyland Paris, there are some wonderful details in the smallest of places and who doesn’t love running through the castle? It would have been nice to run down Main Street with twinkling lights, but by having the 5k concealed to the Studios, this made me even more excited for both the 10k and half-marathon courses!