Revel Mt Charleston Race Report
Revel Mt Charleston Race Report

Mt Charleston Half Marathon 2019 Review

Revel bills themselves as the downhill marathon races. And they’re right! This race was exhilarating from start to finish. The Revel Marathon Las Vegas starts on Mt. Charleston, about half an hour from the Las Vegas Strip. Revel provides shuttles to the race start and from the finish back to the Strip, which makes it easy for tourists and locals like to access this Las Vegas marathon.

Revel Marathon Las Vegas Training

I started training with plenty of time, doing 5ks during the week and a long run, increasing a mile a week, on the weekends. Managed three 10+ mile runs leading up to the race. After my last long run (11 miles) I had some pain on the bottom of my right foot that I couldn’t ignore. Doc diagnosed tendonitis and gave me a brace to prevent ankle rolling. I had planned on some 6-milers the week before the race, but tossed that. Tendonitis did reduce significantly, and I was confident running without the brace.


Muster time for the race was 4:30 AM, with a start time of 5:30. I carpooled with a friend for a pick-up time of 3:00 AM. I went to bed at 8:30 PM, but a solid sleep was not meant to be. Between a beeping phone, loud neighbors and my husband coming home at 1 AM, it was fitful rest at best, but enough. Had a banana for breakfast. My friend picked me up, then another running buddy, and we made it to the muster point easily. The bus up the mountain let me catch a few z’s. The temps, balmy in the Vegas valley, dropped significantly after a 4,500 feet. My friend lent me a turtleneck to stop my chattering teeth, and the provided gloves were great in keeping my hands warm. It was nice to see the sunrise from the very first light.

Revel Marathon Las Vegas: Half Marathon Performance

Race start was 5:30 AM, right into the sunrise. I hit the porta potties directly before the start line, which meant I started about 10 minutes after gun time. I was without my friends, but I didn’t have to fight through a crowd, so that was good. Not so good – I forgot my headphones.

Miles 1-4

I had planned to run at a 12-minute pace for the first 5 miles, but after listening to my buddies, decided to go with where my feet took me. With a sub 11 pace on the first mile, I pulled back to around/just over 11 for the rest of the major decline. The scenery was lovely and the volunteers were spirited and helpful. I thought a 2:30 finish time was in sight.

Miles 4-8

After mile 6, we were out of the scenic part of the mountain and running directly into the now fully-risen sun. This is where I was really grateful for the goodr sunglasses swag – Revel gave out the second best swag I’ve received from a race. When you’re running in Las Vegas, you get used to full sunlight, but facing the sun with no break was brutal. My legs still felt good, and the mood was enthusiastic. At mile 8, I had a major potty break, which was a relief. Even after 5 minutes in a porta-potty, a 2:30 finish was still possible from my watch, so I was pretty excited.

Miles 9-13

I felt much better after my guts straightened themselves out, but I lost the momentum of the steep declines of the mountain. Additionally, the temps had heated up dramatically – a combination of dropping altitude and the standard Vegas morning heat. Finally, this section of the race is along a freeway and then into the Vegas suburbs. It’s not nearly as inspiring scenery as the first third of the race, but at least we weren’t running directly into the evil yellow orb anymore. In fact, there’s a bit where you are facing the mountain you just ran down, so you get a nice view.

At the last rest stop, volunteers gave out water and Powerade, but also Otter Pops and wet towels! I was already double-fisting water and a pop, so ducked down for the volunteer to put the towel on my head. I’m sure there’s a race photo of me with a sopping wet towel dribbling onto my face, but I didn’t care. Best rest stop of the race.

My goal was 2:30 run time, and my watch at Mile 25 (I was looking at the full mile numbers) had me at 2:15. That last mile was full of grunts, yelling at myself, and clapping, with plenty of spectator support. And damn it all if it wasn’t my fastest mile! Garmin time had me in at 2:28, as it auto-stopped during bathroom breaks. So goal kinda achieved? Actual chip time was 2:35, still 10 minutes off my previous PR.

Revel Marathon Las Vegas: Post-race

Enjoyed pizza and some Lagunitas beer at the post-race party, then got dropped off at home for a four-hour nap. I was surprised with the Deep Blue rub sample. I didn’t think it would do anything, but the soles of my feet were killing me, and the rub did decrease the pain.

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