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With a morning concert, Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon makes it official

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Mayor Oscar Goodman said he was optimistic about Las Vegas’ first Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon to be run on Dec. 6 during a press conference held June 10.
Photo: Justin M. Bowen

Age oV Reason, like most local bands, has made their rounds at venues across town, but today they find themselves on stage at a location that few, if any, have rocked before.

They are playing on a tiny stage erected under the historic Welcome to Las Vegas Sign on the Strip. Mere feet away from northbound lanes, traffic takes notice. A trucker honks the horn of his 16-wheeler and pumps his fist out the window. Car after car slows down. A motorcycle honks at one of them – he must not be a fan.

Actually, only a fistful of fans (mostly family members) is in attendance for Age oV Reason’s show morning show. This performance isn’t about reaching fans; it’s about promoting the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon on Dec. 6.

A morning marathon

The marathon, and its half-marathon counterpart, will have bands playing at every mile of the course. Other live entertainers, run-through weddings and cheerleading squads are also planned for what event organizers describe as a 26-block party.

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Entertainment Solutions is coordinating the live acts that will line the course. Local and regional bands wishing to perform will have to submit their music and photos online at rnrvegas.com for consideration. Applications aren’t being accepted yet, though one organizer suggested they should be available within the next month. Deadlines and decisions are expected this fall.

The Competitor Group’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series has been largely successful in other cities, including San Antonio and San Diego, even during the economic recession. The amped-up race is expected to revitalize the image of marathons in Sin City after the last two were received poorly and drew sparse crowds.

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“Third time’s a charm,” Mayor Oscar Goodman told the crowd gathered at the sign this morning.

Age oV Reasons members also believe adding a soundtrack to the marathon will be good for the local music scene, showing the city and the world Las Vegas’ burgeoning array of homegrown bands.

“It’s a good way to bring together local bands,” guitarist Jack Long says.

Plus, it’s for a good cause – the marathon will raise money for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.

Guitarist Shawn Fortney said the band feels honored to be involved with the event. Standing under the historic sign, he added that the band was pumped to be playing in front of an audience that included Goodman and Commissioner Rory Reid.

After taking the stage, Reid joked that the happiest mayor in the world is interested in joining Age oV Reason. “He can’t sing. He can’t dance,” Reid said. “But he’s entertaining.”

The band agreed the mayor could drink gin and rock the stage with them any day, especially if he brings the showgirls with him.

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