Race Review: Las Vegas Strip Poker Run 5k [Guest Post]

From time to time, our schedules conflict and we can’t make it to a race we originally had planned. Fortunately for us, we’re in the process of assembling a band of epic runners around the country who are attending these races and taking copious mental notes.

You may remember Kira as our first Featured Epic Runner. After we ran with her at her first 5k (the Las Vegas Zombie Run), we brought her over to the dark side. She’s now addicted to epic running and raced in the Las Vegas Strip Poker Run 5k last weekend. She wanted to start recording her experiences on her own and graciously allowed us to post her review to share with you all. Check it out!

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strip poker run
Kira looking fresh and ready to rumble!

Hey guys! I decided I’m going to review the races I run this year for 2 reasons. 1) I want to see if I can motivate anyone to try to put themselves out there and do something crazy and fun. 2) I want a way to look back at the end of the year and see what I’ve done.

That being said, I went out and participated in the Strip Poker Run 5k, put on by the Downtown Runners here in Vegas. My girl Amber came with me since Bill ended up having to work. Race start time was 10am and we started next to the new Container Park on Fremont street. Parking was located at the Downtown Grand hotel and you had to walk down Fremont Street to get to the race.

First, let me explain the race. Strip Poker run, you wear 4 layers of clothing and at certain points (3 total on the course) you strip off a layer or 2 and the clothing went to Saint Jude’s Ranch. You would also receive a playing card (3 total, with 2 more posted at the finish line) to complete a texas hold ’em hand. I finished with 2 10’s with an Ace kicker, rewarding me with 2 free tickets to see SinCity Comedy with buy 1 get one free coupons at Jamba Juice and The Coffee Bean.

Walking down Fremont is always fun, especially when there are not many people there (haha), it was a great way, as a local, to take everything in. Plus I got a chance to check out the Container Park that opened a few months ago. This place is actually pretty cool, they used old shipping containers and turned them into stores and restaurants which is an awesome concept. The kids play area is huge and the fire-shooting praying mantis out front is amazing.

I have to give massive recognition to the Downtown Runners on this, the sense of community throughout this race was strong. Every 1/4 mile they had different community programs from cheerleaders to dance schools to zumba programs performing along the race and holding signs to cheer you on. It got to the point where I didn’t want to walk because I wanted to see what was next. Also, the chalk writing on the street along the course was great inspiration as you ran. They kept you pumped up the entire time!

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The end of the race was my favorite by far though and not for the reason you think! The last corner had a dj blasting dub step as you ran past which was followed by, no joke, 10-15 bikers from B.A.C.A. (Bikers Against Child Abuse) Vegas chapter reving their bikes and cheering you on…at the finish line you are greeted again by the giant, flame throwing praying mantis and a drum group!! When you get back into the Container Park, you are greeted with water bottles, banana bread and energy gels. Runners were very taken care of!

My cons about the race are based on my own personal biases.
First, I hate having to park downtown, it’s a pain in the ass. But the run was so amazing that I completely disregard this.
Second, one of the groups gave out V8 or some sort of tomato juice [Editor’s Note: Gross.] at around mile marker 2. I’m not a fan.
Third, I lost Amber somewhere around the first half mile. But that was my own damn fault.

I’m sure I’m missing details, there was so much to take in. All in all, I’m really glad this was my first race of the year. It renewed my enjoyment of these runs, got me more aware of the community that is out here (yes kids! there is a community in Vegas!) and was a great day! Plus I got some great swag in the form of a new Downtown Runners beanie and water bottle!

My next race is Hit and Run 5k on March 1, so I’ll keep you all posted.

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