Las Vegas, NV –– An international field of elite athletes will lead more than 27,000 registered runners down the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, December 6, 2009 for the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half Marathon.
Nearly seven and a half miles of Las Vegas Boulevard will be closed for the race, with the entire 13.1-mile half marathon course being run on the Las Vegas Strip. The revamped event, managed for the first time by San Diego-based Competitor Group, has been rebranded as part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series and drawn entrants from all 50 states and 39 countries.
The main event will match the elite women against the elite men in a special ‘Battle of the Sexes’ format that awards the first marathon runner of either gender to cross the finish line a $10,000 bonus over and above the first place prizes of $15,000. The elite women will begin the race first, starting 19 minutes ahead of the men, a differential representing the average time gap between the top 50 men’s and women’s marathon times of 2009. Once the 19:00 gap has passed, the elite men will take off with the rest of the marathon field at 6:15 am and try to chase down the elite women. The first person to break the finish tape will earn $25,000.
“The men will have to average better than 43 ½ seconds per mile to make up the time gap over 26.2 miles,” explained Running USA Hall of Fame announcer Toni Reavis, who will help call the race for KLAS-TV along with Olympians Ed Eyestone and Juli Henner.
Leading the men’s field is 25-year-old Kenyan Matthew Koech, who owns a sub-60:00 half marathon best. Las Vegas will mark his marathon debut, but he won the prestigious Berlin 25k in May with a time of 1:13:24, the seventh fastest time ever run for the distance.
To continue reading about the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Elite Field, click here.