Approximately 40,000 registered runners from age 12 to 86 celebrated 10 years of running on the world famous Las Vegas Boulevard this weekend at the 2018 Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & ½ Marathon. Unforgettable sights and sounds set the stage for runners from all 50 states and 86 countries to enjoy the Vegas Strip on the only night each year that it is closed for a private event.
In the marathon, Thomas Puzey (Flagstaff, Ari.) took first-place, clocking a time of 2:25:54. Yonatan Abebe (San Diego, Cali.) was second with a time of 2:36:30 and Gary Messina (Salt Lake City, Utah) followed in third place finishing in 2:45:03. Hannah McInturff (Salt Lake City, Utah) was the women’s champion with a final time of 3:07:03 with Jessica Sams (Costa Mesa, Cali.) next behind her at 3:12:26. Katherine Sargeant (Reading, Great Britain) rounded out the podium in 3:12:47
In the half marathon Wilkerson Given (Atlanta, Ga.) took the crown with a 1:02:50 effort. Matt McDonald (Atlanta, Ga.) earned second with a time of 1:04:54 while third-place went to Jeffrey Eggleston (Boulder, Colo.) with a time of 1:05:07. Kellyn Taylor (Flagstaff, Ari.) won the women’s race with a time of 1:10:16. In second-place was Bridget Belyeu (Fairburn, Ga.) in a time of 1:12:31 Ellie Abrahamson (Atlanta, Ga.) rounding out the podium with a time of 1:13:10.
The weekend of running kicked off on Saturday evening with the Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas 5K presented by Brooks began at the corner Las Vegas Festival Grounds and a concert from Ozomatli. Edward Kemboi (Atlanta, Ga.) won the overall race clocking a time of 15:10, while Yolanda Ngarambe (Atlanta, Ga.) won the women’s race with a time of 17:02.
The inaugural Brooks Beasts Desert Throwdown preceded the 2018 Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & ½ Marathon. The brand-new one-mile invitational event saw 21 elite athletes storm down the Las Vegas Strip in blazing speed. It was Edward Cheserek (Elgeyo-Marakwet County, Kenya) clocking a time of 04:01 for first-place just outpacing Abraham Alvarado (Atwater, Calif.) and Brannon Kidder (Lancaster, Ohio). Emily Lipari (Greenvale, N.Y.) was the women’s champion with a final time of 04:37, closely trailed by Katie Mackey (Fort Collins, Colo.), and Rachel Schneider (Sanford, N.H.).
Elite runners and fast times aside, Sunday’s races were all about the party atmosphere. Several local bands, including the including Groove Kitty, Holes and Hearts, KISSED ALIVE, Rat Soup, Vermillion Road performed live on improved band stages along the route interspersed with cheerleaders and themed water stations. Participants moved along to more music than ever with all new mile-markers that included speakers while taking in the local scenery and city streets packed with spectator support.
Runner’s where treated to the sounds of Billboard, VMA, and Grammy nominated indie-electro group, Capital Cities who headlined the Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series on Sunday just before the 10K, Marathon & ½ Marathon.