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Pink Eggs

by Meghann on March 29, 2012

Do you know what you get when you make scrambled eggs with leftover roasted beets?

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You get pink eggs :p

Actually, you mix roasted beets with anything and you’re going to wind up with pink something. I have the pink hands, pink cutting board, and pink knife to prove it. πŸ˜‰

And just to let you know – roasted beets with kale and two eggs = delicious. Gotta love adding leftover to scrambled eggs, guaranteed winner every time.

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Served with the last of the blue corn chips and avocado.

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At least my lunch was colorful. πŸ˜‰

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Now some rambling…

My thoughts on Rock ‘n’ Roll’s improvement plan for Las Vegas in 2012

Yesterday Rock ‘n’ Roll unveiled their plans to improve the 2012 Las Vegas Half Marathon and Marathon (see article here). I may have a love/hate relationship with Rock ‘n’ Roll, but I have to give them credit for stepping forward and admitting their faults.

Last December I ran the inaugural strip-at-night race in Vegas and loved it. I loved the energy, I loved the lights, and I loved running with Anne and Monica. We ran the race at a casual pace for fun and finished just under 2 hours.

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However, as I later discovered, our experience was a rare one.

Here’s what we had going for us in Vegas:

  • We had an early corral start.

Rock ‘n’ Roll is well known for their timed corral starts. Runners are divided into numbered corrals based on their individual pace goals and each corral is typically released 2-3 minutes after the other. Where Rock ‘n’ Roll went wrong in Vegas was throwing the timed corral system out the window. There were 30+ corrals for the half marathon and somewhere around corral 10 or 11, they stopped doing the timed starts and it became a free for all. A very crazy, insane free for all of 30,000 runner all trying to cross the start line at once. Anne, Monica, and I were in corral 3, so we were able to miss the craziness that transpired once we were out of there.

  • We ran the half instead of the full

The full marathoners merged with the half marathoners for the last few miles down the strip. They had a 2 or 3 hour head start, but the timing of the full marathoners’ pace and the half marathoners’ paces didn’t add up. Many marathoners who had been cruising along for at a 7:00, 8:00, or even 9:00 min/mi pace merged with walls of half marathoners that were running much, much slower than that. They were also face with the problem of half marathons taking up their ‘lane,’ which was very poorly marked and the cones that did mark the ‘lane’ became a bit of a hazard as people tripped over them in the dark.

  • We ran the race for fun

If we had taken this race seriously – and tried to PR in those crowds – we would not have succeeded. Instead we were able to somewhat zone out from the crowded roads. We enjoyed the sights and sounds of Vegas and didn’t let any of the bottle necking get to us.

  • We finished in under 2 hours

This was biggie. Since we finished in a fairly early time (considering most of the race participants came in at 2:30+) we missed a lot of the horror that took place after the race. There was still plenty of water on the course when we ran and the crowds at the finish line were minimal. We also missed a lot of the crowds going back to our hotel.

  • We stayed near the finish line

Since Anne and I roomed together at the MGM, we did not have to mess with the shuttle buses that were put in place for the event. From what I later gathered, the lines for both the shuttles and the cabs stretched for 2+ hours after the race. Due to closed roads, they also ran very slowly and were unreliable.

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We were lucky. I have talked to a few runners runners that had the same experience we did (with the same things going their way), but the majority weren’t in the same camp. I didn’t discover the majority of what had happened until I came home and saw the firestorm that had erupted on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Vegas Facebook page. Social media is a crazy thing – when people are angry, they let it be known. I filled in my own thoughts on the Las Vegas aftermath here.

For awhile it didn’t seem like Rock ‘n’ Roll was doing much to right the situation. At least it didn’t seem like much to the observant fan, but I can guarantee people were going crazy on their end trying to figure out how to right it. If not, then they might as give up on the racing industry now.

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It took a few months, but Rock ‘n’ Roll finally released their plans to resolve what went wrong in December. Turns out they had been listening. Sort of.

Here’s their plans for improvement for 2012:

  • Fully Dedicated Marathon Course

Because of the event’s popularity we have been able to secure longer and earlier closure times of The Strip. The new start times are 3:00 pm for the Full Marathon and 4:30 pm for the Half Marathon. The 2012 courses will merge together at approximately mile 10.6 (half-marathon) and mile 23.7 (full marathon). A marathon-only lane will be maintained for the last 2.5 miles of the course through the use of fixed barricades, providing clear separation between full and half marathon athletes.

I’m kind of interested to see what these ‘fixed baricades’ are going to be for separating the marathoners and half marathoners. There technically was a ‘dedicated marathon lane’ for 2011, but the 2 foot wide lane mixed with the cone separation wasn’t exactly ideal.

  • New, Improved Start Village

The Start Village will now be located at across from The Luxor (East side of Las Vegas Blvd between Hacienda and Reno). This location and an improved layout offers participants more entrances to access the Start Line on Las Vegas Blvd. This will greatly assist runners locating and entering their designated corrals.

  • New, Mid-Strip Finish Line Area

With a new finish line location on Las Vegas Boulevard (near Caesar’s Palace & The Mirage) participants will be able to walk back to their respective hotel. Over 15 hotel properties that have more than 50,000 hotel rooms in total will be located less than one mile from the new finish line venue.

Kudos to Rock ‘n’ Roll for the new mid-strip finish. I’m sure planning it will be a bit of nightmare, but with the majority of racers staying on this end of the strip (where the nicer and newer hotels are) I could see this being a huge plus and relieve some of the stress that was placed on the hotel shuttles and cabs from 2011. This should also break-up everyone’s initial gut reaction to head to the nearest hotel to warm up (as they did with Mandalay Bay) and stop the crazy situation that happened there.

  • Extended Wave Start Timeline + Increased Security of Corrals

The wave start in 2012 will increase from 45 minutes to 90 minutes. Two to three minutes between corrals will be implemented to ensure appropriate spacing throughout the entire race experience.

I feel like this one is a given. The timed corrals should have been in place for last year, just like they are for every other Rock ‘n’ Roll race. This is the best way to control bottle necking and over crowding on he course. The increases security should be a plus if they actual implement it. I’ve yet to run a Rock ‘n’ Roll race where they turned runners away from entering the wrong coral. It tends to go by the ‘honor system’

  • Improved Water Station Service

This year, we will add an additional element of quality assurance to the on-course hydration. Zappos.com Rock β€˜n’ Roll Las Vegas will partner with industry expert WaterMonster to deliver potable drinking water and Gatorade to the course through their use of their food grade container system and NSF approved hoses. Additional strict, visible sanitary requirements will be implemented through volunteers and WaterMonster.

I think partnering with WaterMonster is a smart move, as long as they can ensure that there is enough water and gatorade along the course.

And something they didn’t mention:

  • A Race Cap

One of the rumors that was swirling around for 2012 was ditching a race cap and just seeing how many runners they can get on the strip. Considering all the problems they had with 2011 with 38,000 runners on the course, I think they should take a year and redeem themselves before doing anything crazy. Put all of the improvements to work, build up some good buzz, then try to push the limits. Trying to take on too much, too soon again could only lead to disaster.

Those are just my thoughts.

Would I run Vegas again? I think I would.

I love the idea of the race (strip at night = genius!) and loved my experience, but I would want to ensure these improvements are all put in place first. Of course, Vegas is also a lot of $$, so unless I were to pick up another sponsorship (Attune sponsored both Anne and I in 2011), I don’t think I’ll run again based on that. There are just too many races out there that I want to run and only so much money to spend on them.

What are your thoughts on Rock ‘n’ Roll’s announcement of their improvements for Las Vegas?


1 Krissy @ Shiawase Life March 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Thanks for these updates, Meghann! I am definitely interested in doing this event sometime in the future and it’s good to see the changes being implemented as direct responses to the issues from the past race.
Krissy @ Shiawase Life recently posted..Whirlwind.

2 Allison March 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm

I love doing RNR events because they are normally so organized and well run. Good for them for admitting the problem and doing something about it.
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3 Kristy @ KristyRuns March 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I think I’m just a fan of smaller, cheaper, less crowded races. That’s good they’re changing things though!
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4 Victoria (District Chocoholic) March 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Don’t forget pink pee.
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5 Kristen @ notsodomesticated March 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Hmm that’s definitely interesting. Was it just the Vegas R&R that was so crazy? I’m doing the Nashville one in a month … hopefully it all runs smoothly! πŸ™‚
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6 Meghann March 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm

My siblings ran Nashville last year and didn’t have any issues. I spectated -> http://mealsandmiles.com/2011/04/30/ben-and-kelly-run-a-marathon/ and didn’t see any either. It’s hit or miss with Rock ‘n’ Roll.

7 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm

The idea of ditching a race cap is frightening, I mean, imaging being in corral 83? Um no.
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8 kim March 29, 2012 at 3:47 pm

you mentioned that they are capping the race but you dont mention that it is at 45,000 runners! you also didnt mention that they ran out of shirts and medals last year (and as of today there are still people who havent received theirs). and lastly for those of us who ran last year, we were promised a ‘great discount’ for this years race. well its a whopping 18$! and registration is 130$ (which is an early bird price). I also didnt have a terrible race last year but I refuse to ever run another Rock n Roll event. there are too many amazing races out there that are actually about the community of runners and not corporate greed! my two cents πŸ™‚

9 Meghann March 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm

You’re right – I did forget to mention running out of medals and shirts and Rock ‘n’ Roll failed to mention this in their statement as well. Unfortunately I find that running out of either shirts or medals is fairly common in this industry. I’ve seem some of the best races unintentionally fall to this issue. Not that that’s any excuse, but that’s what happens when they order all the medals and shirts sooooo many months in advance. I actually had a great talk with one of the race directors at RunDisney who stated that they avoid this issue by ordering as many medals or shirts as there are runners allowed in the race. ie. 20,000 race cap = 20,000 medals Problem solved.

I agree the discount isn’t much. This race is very pricey and $18 is really nothing compared to the $130 race fee. However, this IS Vegas and EVERYTHING is more expensive in Vegas, including races.

I try to avoid Rock ‘n’ Roll, but it’s kind of like trying to avoid Wal-Mart – it’s hard too when they’re everywhere. That being said, I do prefer the local, non-corporate races, but that’s not saying I’m never going to run Rock ‘n’ Roll again.

10 kim March 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Thats great to hear about Run Disney! I’m running the Disneyland race this summer. I’m not against big races, I’m just dont like that Rock N Roll feels so greedy. I feel like Disney charges alot but they spend the money and get enought medals. I’m sure they end up with extras but that wasted money is worth it to them (or at least I assume so).

Also, I dont personally feel that the ‘everything in Vegas is expensive’ arguement holds. Rock N Roll is over priced in general. But I assumed that was the price you pay for a well run, big race. I just didnt get that in Vegas (and they have had problems in other cities).

And I do avoid Wal-Mart, I just go to Target HAHAHA!

11 Cait's Plate March 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I need to dabble in the world of beets. They scare me a little bit but I bet I’ll end up loving them!
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12 Sarah March 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm

lol Pink eggs! I was relieved when I read that. With all the controversy on “pink slime” in the news now, that’s what I first thought of when I saw that! Oh my, hahaha.

13 Megan @ Megan's Munchies March 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm

I have run the Dallas one and everything was run pretty well! It was interesting to read all of this and how it works in other locations.
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14 Emily N March 29, 2012 at 4:43 pm

I read the article yesterday as well because I have been WAITING for info on this, since I was planning on running it. I did not run it this past year however, and I have a coworker who is a race walker who DID experience some of this stuff…
Emily N recently posted..Tempo Pace?

15 Laura is Undeterrable March 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm

I didn’t run it last year, and I don’t think I will ever run it. Running a race is hard enough without all the extra baggage.
Laura is Undeterrable recently posted..Three Things Thursday – The Triathlon Edition

16 Anne P March 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Interesting to hear how RnR is trying to fix the issues for next year’s Vegas race. It makes me so sad that not everyone had the same great experience we did! Here’s hoping their new plan fixes all those issues for next year…
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17 Niki March 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I might be strange but I’m still dying I run the Vegas half! (I want to have fun in Vegas so I think the full would be out of the question) I love running races in cities (I’ve run the NYC and Philly marathons) hopefully it will be better next year. Oh yeah, now I’m in the mood for scrambled eggs, ha!
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18 Meghann March 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Both NYC and Philly are on my bucket list πŸ™‚

19 Niki March 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Philly actually ran out of water at mile 18- waaaaaaaaaaah! πŸ™
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20 Charlene Ragsdale March 29, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I truly thrilled you had a great experience. It gives me hope of what could of been that night. As one of the “hospital victims” of that night (and other issues) – I have told by many that I “lead the charge against RnR last year”. Whether it be me or someone else – they raped my sport and my city. Since that day I have put a tremendous amount of time and energy to ensure that ALL racers have a SAFE and enjoyable experience. Nothing would please me more.

Here is my open letter to RnR on the proposed changes:

http://runningwithcharlene.blogspot.com/2012/03/letter-to-rnr-regarding-rnrlv-12.html

I hope you will return to Vegas. Prices of everything go up during heavy convention season, December is one of those times.

21 Meghann March 29, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I love your attitude Charlene. I remember reading your story last December and not being able to believe it. To see your dedication to ensure a safer race in the future is truly inspiring. I do want to return to Vegas, even if it’s not in December for the marathon, I promise I will be back πŸ™‚

22 Charlene Ragsdale March 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Thanks, Meghann. Yes, please return to Vegas sometime and when you do – let’s go for a run. We can even run The Strip (on the sidewalk, of course).
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23 Meghann March 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm

deal.

24 Karen @ Run Shop Travel March 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm

I am glad I did this race in 2010 and not 2011.

I would have been one of those 2:30+ finishers with a nightmare of problems from the things we all heard happened in 2011!

I am not a night runner and this race currently has no appeal for me so there is little chance I would do it again!
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25 SkinnyRunner March 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm

if i was given a free bib again, id run it but i definitely wouldnt pay to run it again.

26 Tori @ In Love and Peanut Butter March 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm

My Boyfriend and I ran the half this year too. I had a very simular experience to you, I thought I was the only one that really enjoyed it.

We ran it just for fun a few weeks before the Disney Marathon. We were dodging people the whole time, got pushed around at the finish line and nearly froze waiting for 2 hours for a cab….. but… we ran a half marathon on the Las Vegas strip at night and had a blast doing it.

I completely agree with a lot of what was said. I think RnR did an awesome job addressing a lot of the issues people had with the race. My suggestion is, if you’re interested in doing this race, do it for the incredible experience, not the PR.
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27 Emily March 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Do you think race coordinators/organizers should plan for and anticipate the runners that gorge themselves on the recovery items (food, drink, fuel, etc.) along the course and at finish lines? Its hard for me to fault an organization for poor race etiquette practiced by some runners. This is especially true for races that have both half and full marathons. Sure, each runners’ race fee pays for fuel at the end of a race and along the course, but my race fee should not supplement another racers’ mentality that the fuel along the course is anything more than that. The finish line is not the opportunity to stock a fridge or a hotel room.

I’m not saying racers should act as martyrs and restrain themselves or deny their bodies necessary fuel during or after a race, but I have most certainly witnessed (both personally and through recaps) that runners often fail to recognize that the course is filled with other runners. Perhaps if each runner were a little more considerate, then a race organizer would not have to purchase enough water so that each runner could take 5 water bottles with them on completion of the race.

I know that there were many problems with this particular race that were unacceptable and a result of poor planning. However, I believe that some of the problems with this race (and other races) could perhaps be solved by racers not being so self-centered during and after a race.

28 christine @ BookishlyB March 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm

While RnR defiitely has faults, I definitely agree with you of the “gorging” thing. I see so many people (bloggers included…) that grab handfulls upon handfulls of the finish line supplies! Not cool. I love small races that do premade bags (obviously not possible for huge races).
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29 Hillary March 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm

I know they caught a lot of crap for Vegas, and I was worried that they would mess up the DC race a few weeks ago. In the end, I was really happy with how they ran the race: it felt well-organized, timed, and planned. It was a huge relief!
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30 christine @ BookishlyB March 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I will definitely not be running it again- it was a mess and made me lose a lot of respect of RnR. I am glad they’re taking steps to change it, but the things that went wrong were foreseeable (they were just in over their heads). I emailed them this time last year asking about a cap, since I knew there would be problems, and the blase email I received in return made me realize RnR is really a for profit company.

I sincerely hope that they do it improve, for the sake of everyone that will return. It’s a cool concept, just not for me anymore.
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31 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 29, 2012 at 6:57 pm

i LOVE beets but for whatever reason I don’t cook with them. Maybe I’m afraid of turning my whole kitchen pink… πŸ˜‰
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32 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama March 29, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Ditching a race cap would be horrible! I don’t think that would help their reputation at all. Plus, it seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

With that said, a night race on the strip is still very appealing! How many races can you find like that?
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33 Heather March 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm

so glad to hear they are fixing things. I heard it was a mess and was glad I wasn’t there ha!
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34 Serena March 29, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Beets are the only food I hate.
I’ve never done a rock n roll event, I’ve heard bad things.
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35 Heidi March 29, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Ok, so this has nothing to do with this post….. but Meals and Miles has “DEFUNKED” me. I am relatively new to this blog and have no idea how I even found it. I have been in the longest “can’t get up in the morning to run and can’t run after work either” funk ever! It has made me miserable at work every day as I beat myself up and make dumb deals with myself. By the way, it really is a bad honor system to try to make a deal with yourself. Now this morning was different. Last night as I put my running clothes on for bed (yes this was yet another tactic to try to make it easier and save those 2 extra seconds it takes to pull on my shorts and singlet) I realized that I am so enjoying Meals and Miles because I love running and food. But yet I cannot get my butt out of bed so what am I relating to when Meghann runs predawn religiously. SOOOOOO, when the iphone chimed this morning the first think I chanted in my head was “Meals and Miles.. Meals and Miles…… like a mantra… and low and behold… I have been DEFUNKED… no more funk… I cannot wait to pop out of bed tomorrow and run in this almost ending non humid Florida weather! πŸ™‚

36 Meghann March 29, 2012 at 9:21 pm

ha! Congrats on on being defunked. I hope your run tomorrow morning is just as great! πŸ™‚

37 Sara@RunningInPinkProject March 29, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Ive always been curious about the RNR races and it seems like everyone who recaps them has a love/hate thing going on. I know a friend of mine had a horrible experience at one a couple of years ago. But I also have friends who have had horrible Disney race experiences where Ive enjoyed all of mine…. mostly. πŸ™‚
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38 Meghann March 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm

I think that’s how most things go – two people can run the exact same race and come out with two completely different experiences. No one can predict anything and you just have to cross your fingers it will work for you. I ran the Disney full and loved it, but I had three friends who ran the same race and all three have vowed never to run one again (and they still haven’t) Me? I’ve done 4! lol

39 BroccoliHut March 29, 2012 at 8:54 pm

I’m on a major beet kick these days, but I hadn’t thought to pair them with eggs yet…I’m always up for something pink πŸ™‚
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40 Anne March 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Its really too bad that so many people had a bad experience in Vegas! Of course, you aren’t going to please everyone, but both of the halves I’ve run have been rock and roll events and I loved them!
Anne recently posted..I don’t like this one.

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