LAS VEGAS -- A new date, a reconfigured course and improved security were among changes that Las Vegas Rock `n' Roll Marathon organizers outlined Thursday for an evening race that they say drew more than 30,000 entrants last year to the neon-lit Las Vegas Strip.
Competitor Group executive Adam Zocks and Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman referred to the Boston Marathon bombing in March, telling reporters that race officials are working closely with Las Vegas police to ensure the safety of race participants and spectators during the 26.2-mile race on Nov. 17.
It starts and finishes on Las Vegas Boulevard, within walking distance of more than a dozen large casino resorts.
For the last four years, the Rock `n' Roll marathon has been held on the first weekend in December. Zocks said the date was moved to avoid a conflict with the heavily attended 10-day National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack arena in Las Vegas.
"We hope the new November date will give us a better chance for warmer weather and even more participants will enjoy running on the most famous street in the world at night," Zocks said in a statement.
The marathon and 13.1-mile half-marathon will both start at 4:30 p.m., instead of at staggered times. The on-course time limit for runners will increase to 5 hours.
This year, marathon runners will pass twice instead of once beneath the downtown Fremont Street Experience casino mall canopy.
Live bands will again perform at each measured mile during the race, which has developed a reputation for attracting runners dressed as Elvis and participants marrying or renewing vows at a run-thru wedding chapel.
Last year's title sponsor, Zappos.com, will hold a new "Half of the Half" race on race day beginning at 3:30 p.m. on the Strip and finishing downtown. That 6.5-mile race is limited to 2,500 participants, with registration beginning in July.
-- Associated Press