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Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon to start Dec. 4

LAS VEGAS – The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, a musical format that revolutionized the running industry, has surged to the front of the pack once again by announcing the first ever nighttime start for the 2011 Zappos.com Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and ½ Marathon to benefit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.

The new starting time was announced during a press conference attended by Clark County Chair Susan Brager, Las Vegas City Mayor Oscar Goodman. Competitor Group President Scott Dickey, and as Vegas Events President Pat Christenson.

Runners will span across all eight lanes of Las Vegas Boulevard on Sunday night, December 4, 2011 exclusively shutting down the neon-lit Strip in epic fashion and instantly becoming the World’s Largest Nighttime Running Event. The marathon will begin at 4 p.m. and the half-marathon will start at dusk, approximately 5:30 p.m. Each race will have a limited capacity of entrants and an enforced time limit to complete the distance.

The half-marathon will have 27,000 entrants, while the marathon will have 5,000 runners. The time limit has been set at four hours for half-marathon, and four hours-30 minutes for marathon. The Start and Finish locations will be at the Mandalay Bay parking lot.

A special website dedicated to the night race has been launched at Stripnight.com featuring an exclusive 48-hour registration promotion. Regular event registration for both the marathon and half-marathon will re-open to the general public on May 31, 2011.

“It has truly been a feat to close down Las Vegas on a Sunday morning each of the past two years, and now we are doing the impossible by closing down the entire Strip at night, taking this event to the next level,” said Peter Engleheart, CEO of Competitor Group, which acquired the 44-year-old marathon in 2008. “We believe the unique experience that we’re going to deliver on The Strip at night makes this race so much different than any other and our goal is to put this event in the global ‘bucket list’ of races for runners around the world. A Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on the Las Vegas Strip at night, what could be better than that?

Las Vegas’ signature running event was re-branded in 2009 as part f the nationwide Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series and is managed by the San Diego-based Competitor Group, annually drawing over 28,000 entrants from all 50 states and more than 30 countries. Last year, event weekend generated a total economic impact of over $91 million and filled more than 63,0000 hotel room nights locally.

“Las Vegas is known for its entertainment and by moving the marathon to en evening start, we will have a cast of more than 30,000 runners starring in one of the hottest shows in town,” said Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events. “For the competitors, they will have an unforgettable experience of running along Las Vegas Boulevard under the lights. For fans and spectators, they will have a chance to witness this massive spectacle along the course on both the sidewalks and in many bars, restaurants and clubs that oversee the Las Vegas Strip.”

In addition to live bands performing at each mile along the course, the Las Vegas event is renowned for hundreds of people running dressed as Elvis, and every year includes a run-through wedding chapel where runners in love tie the knot during the race.

As the event’s official charity, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America will return with the Team Challenge half-marathon training program. Since 2009, more than 1,800 Team Challenge runners have raised nearly $8-million through the event.

“We could not be more excited that the Zappos.com Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas has moved to a nighttime start,” said Staci Brown, National Director of Team Challenge. “After raising critical research dollars for digestive diseases and training over 16-weeks, there is no better motivation than to celebrate your accomplishment under the neon lights of the most exhilarating street in America.”

For additional information about the nighttime event, visit Stripatnight.com. (Zen S. Laluna)

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