Overall Rating
Overall Rating (10 Reviews)
4.7
(10 Ratings)(10 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.3
SCENERY
4.2
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
4.3
This incredibly fast and remarkably beautiful road race takes runners from the forests of Kyle Canyon on Mt Charleston to Las Vegas, Nevada. Featuring a smooth downhill slope and spectacular scenery, this race will be sure to help you set your PR and finally hit that Boston Qualifying time as … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Karrie Middaugh
    mkcruzr REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This is a gradual downhill course and if you can run fast downhill, you have the possibility of having a personal best time. It's hard to feel like I'm running … MORE

    This is a gradual downhill course and if you can run fast downhill, you have the possibility of having a personal best time. It’s hard to feel like I’m running a marathon when I do this race, because the gravity is so beneficial.

    Beware though, because recovery time takes longer after this run. The next day is extremely brutal!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    M_Sohaskey FIRST-TIMER '18

    BOTTOM LINE: The REVEL race series exists for one (main) reason: to help runners exploit gravity and qualify for Boston. And if you’re a skilled downhill runner who appreciates panoramic … MORE

    BOTTOM LINE: The REVEL race series exists for one (main) reason: to help runners exploit gravity and qualify for Boston. And if you’re a skilled downhill runner who appreciates panoramic desert views, then Mt Charleston — REVEL’s most popular race — is right in your wheelhouse. Despite its 5,100 ft elevation loss over 26.2 miles, the downhill course feels comfortably runnable and never too severe. But be warned: while the course does deliver on its promise of fast and scenic, the last 4+ miles level out significantly, with a couple of uphill jags that feel even more challenging thanks to all the downhill that came before them. And if you think you’re sore the day after a flat marathon, you ain’t felt nothin’ yet — my quads were like concrete pillars the day after Mt Charleston. Not only were they acutely sore for several days afterward, they were still heavy and sluggish over a week later. Luckily the race is held on a Saturday, which allows most folks an extra day of recovery before having to waddle back to work.

    I ran Mt Charleston not to qualify for Boston but as training for the Comrades Marathon “down” run, so I wasn’t out to smash any PRs. And happily so, because along with the leveling out of the course in mile 22, the day warmed up in a hurry once we turned off the mountain onto the Hwy 95 frontage road (this IS Vegas, after all). As both the sun and temperature rose in the later miles, I saw and heard folks around me try in vain to maintain pace, their BQ hopes slipping away with every step. And Katie, who was waiting at the end, agreed that she’s never seen so many finishers crying and suffering at a finish line. Case in point, I spent ~30 minutes after the race massaging a fellow finisher’s cramping calves as she literally screamed in agony with each muscle contraction, all while Katie fetched water and Powerade to help her stay hydrated. (My patient claimed she couldn’t stand to get to the med tent.)

    In summary, severe downhill course + hardcore Boston hopefuls + desert heat = a take-no-prisoners race experience unlike any other. And the formula clearly works, because the race sells out quickly and an impressive 30% of finishers qualified for Boston this year. If you’re not running Mt Charleston to chase a PR or BQ, you’re definitely in the minority. And I look forward to running with REVEL again because, well, this is my kind of craziness.

    Pro tip: Mt Charleston does sell out months in advance, so if you miss out but still want to run, I recommend you add your name to their wait list. I’ve been pulled off the wait list the past two years, though I couldn’t run last year since I’d already committed to Eugene. And though it’s tough to know how much advance warning you’ll be given, odds are high that someone will drop and open up a slot for you to chase your BQ dreams.

    PRODUCTION: Smooth sailing for the most part, with one exception: the bus driver who shuttled us to the start line at the top of the mountain took a wrong turn — twice. By the time we reached the start area we had six minutes to disrobe, warm up, check our drop bag, make a porta-potty stop and do anything else we needed to do. Luckily the start was delayed by a few minutes, but still I found myself in the porta-potty when the gun went off and ended up running from the back. No big deal, and especially since this isn’t a large race so I didn’t have to worry about weaving around other runners — but that’s the kind of pre-race stress I can do without.

    Aside from our navigationally challenged bus driver, race production was on point. The expo, held at the Cox Pavilion on the UNLV campus, was small and easily navigated, though the predominantly local vendors and expo offers seemed out of sync with the demographic of largely out-of-town runners who come to Mt Charleston with one goal in mind: to qualify for Boston. Aid stations were well distributed and well equipped by awesome volunteers, while snarky signs along the course (e.g. “Can you believe YOU paid US to do this?” and “It’s a hill — GET OVER IT”) made clear that anyone seeking sympathy was in the wrong place.

    The highlight of the day may well have been the icy towels that awaited us at the finish — WOW, talk about nirvana. As usual my stomach was in no mood to eat after the race, though both food (pie and Papa John’s Pizza) and Lagunitas Beer were readily available to all finishers. Unfortunately but not surprisingly, the line at the massage tent was too long and moving too slowly, so I skipped it. Not that a few minutes of painful muscle manipulation would have changed the course of the next two days for my aching quads.

    Admittedly I’d like to see the organizers better integrate this race with the community — there were very few spectators along the route, and it didn’t feel as though the locals had any idea a marathon was happening. Hopefully improving community integration is on REVEL’s roadmap, since community support (e.g. Flying Pig, Missoula, Richmond) helps a good race become a great one while creating a more welcoming, less “run and done” vibe.

    SWAG: In addition to its downhill courses, REVEL is popular for its thoughtful swag which for the most part didn’t disappoint: gloves and space blanket for race morning in case it got cold at the start line (not a problem for our bus, which arrived six minutes before the start), nicely wearable short-sleeve gray technical tee with black side panels (one of the nicest in my collection), and oversized finisher medal which, despite its impressive size and cool orange stained-glass effect, strikes me as ho-hum because it’s emblazoned with the REVEL logo which is neither artistically satisfying nor symbolically meaningful. I’m just not a fan of a company advertising itself on its medals; I’d prefer a city skyline or similar. But to end on a positive note — free race photos plus a personalized highlight video! Another way in which REVEL goes the extra mile to take care of its runners.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

    11 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    cassidymegan3 Feb 18, 2019 at 12:53pm

    now THAT is the type of review I come here to read - good or bad - I like a lot of details. Thank you!

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    M_Sohaskey Feb 18, 2019 at 9:27pm

    Thanks Megan, my pleasure and glad it helped! And if it's BQ options you're researching, this may be helpful: https://raceraves.com/best-boston-marathon-qualifying-races/

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    cassidymegan3 Feb 19, 2019 at 11:35am

    Indeed, it is! ☺ Thank you!

    Lorelei Sep 24, 2018 at 4:35am

    Downhill sounds nice, but I know how hard that is. It uses a set of muscles us ordinary runners usually fail to train so the after-burn is quite shocking. It sounds like a super amazing race!!!

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    M_Sohaskey Sep 24, 2018 at 12:28pm

    REVEL is definitely a unique race experience — and yes, the key to success is that your quads know what they're getting themselves into. I think, if I were to train for a BQ now, I might consider signing up for a more gradual downhill marathon and then using this or another REVEL half marathon as training for that. But they always do a nice job with their events. Thanks Lorelei!

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    LHAMPT20 FIRST-TIMER '18

    I collapsed less than a mile from the finish so I am not finisher of this marathon but I ran most of it so I can at least review it. … MORE

    I collapsed less than a mile from the finish so I am not finisher of this marathon but I ran most of it so I can at least review it. Great downhill course! Very fast and was on my way to a PR & BQ but the heat got me and I was taken to the hospital along with 4 other runners. It needed another water stop towards the finish since it was 87 degrees around 9:30 a.m. that morning. My friend that was with me & my husband who was not there were not happy with the race officials not knowing where I was or what happened to me, it took 3 hours for them to locate me. Learned some important lessons for next time! I am registered for next year so we shall see…

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    M_Sohaskey May 09, 2018 at 5:12pm

    Yikes! So sorry to hear this Lisa, but most importantly glad you're ok — clearly you gave this one everything you had. There will always be another BQ opportunity and you're going to get there, it's a matter of "when" not "if". Those last five miles were undeniably rough in the heat, and next year I'm hoping we see icy sponges at the aid stations. Appreciate your sharing your experience, hope you're recovering well and look forward to reading about your shiny new BQ this time next year, if not sooner!

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    This was my second Revel race, but first time doing Mt. Charleston. Revel is known for their fast, downhill courses and I had heard this was one of their fastest. … MORE

    This was my second Revel race, but first time doing Mt. Charleston. Revel is known for their fast, downhill courses and I had heard this was one of their fastest. After a couple years of trying to BQ closer to home I finally decided to go see if I could do it at Mt. Charleston. This race starts at over 7000′ in elevation at Mt. Charleston Lodge and runs down into town finishing in northwest Las Vegas (around 2500′ elevation). As most people will warn you though – these types of courses are very fast, but they can also really beat you up – so training on downhill is a must! As for the actual course specifics – Mile 1 was a little slow with some uphill and the crowds, but after that it is smooth sailing downhill (with a few very short/small hills) through Mile 21. After 21 is when the hard part starts as you turn off of the main road and the course really flattens out with a gradual (not too steep, but it felt long) uphill at Mile 24, as well as the temperature just really heating up. I finished around 9:30 in the morning and it was already 75 degrees without a cloud in the sky. Overall though this was a great course – and I did get my BQ with over 6 minutes to spare! Now that I’ve ran this, I would definitely agree that it’s a fast course, but I wouldn’t underestimate your training because of it – I still trained really, really hard for this race – the downhill just helped me execute it! The course scenery was excellent – I had no idea 11,000′ peaks existed outside of Vegas and they were beautiful. The course started with seriously gorgeous alpine scenery that transitioned to desert with cacti and palm trees as you neared the finish. It was really beautiful! Race management was also top notch – Revel really does a great job catering to runners with a great expo, clear, easy-to-read communication, and great finish line perks with free food and beer as well as other vendors you can purchase things from. I personally really enjoyed the Medal Engraving so I could document my first BQ and the Shaved Ice truck was an amazing way to cool-down post-race!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

    3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey May 12, 2018 at 7:10pm

    Woo-HOO, congrats Kate! First a 100-mile finish, then a well-deserved PR/BQ in the span of 7 months — this running thing is going pretty well for you! :) And it seems to me you did this the smart and patient way, by running some other downhill courses to train your quads over time, until you (and they) were ready to respond with a performance like this. Amazing job staying strong at the end, because like you said it got HOT out there — not sure I've ever seen so much suffering from runners desperately trying to hang on. And yes, Shaved Ice was the perfect reward, once I came down off the high of the icy towel at the finish. Thanks for the awesome review, and enjoy the road to Boston 2019!

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    donknox FIRST-TIMER '18

    Absolutely loved this race. Well organized and gave me something to do while in Vegas for a friend's wedding. The Bally's shuttle was excellent. Race was downhill at an easy … MORE

    Absolutely loved this race. Well organized and gave me something to do while in Vegas for a friend’s wedding. The Bally’s shuttle was excellent. Race was downhill at an easy decline for 10 miles. Mile 10 (Mile 23 for the marathon) is a very slight uphill then flattens out at Mile 11 (Mile 24) and even starts to decline in elevation again but just slightly. Rest stops were plentiful and volunteers were great. Only able to run the half because of the lateness of my registration/vacation plans but I will run the marathon next year as a BQ attempt. If the half is any measure it will not be a problem. Set a PR at the age of 58 and this was my 53rd half marathon. Scenery rating is my preference – it is a desert but beautiful – not all will agree!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    cassidymegan3 Feb 18, 2019 at 12:59pm

    So is this a 2-loop full or do the half marathoners just start at a different point?

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    donknox Feb 18, 2019 at 1:42pm

    The marathon starts further up the mountain.

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    cassidymegan3 Feb 18, 2019 at 3:24pm

    thank you.

     
    Profile photo of BustA Crawford
    BustAGroove REPEAT RUNNER '17

    First race in this year's Revel Race Series 2018 - Mt. Charleston (third-year legacy runner) is a wrap and starting my fourth year as a team member of REVEL Ambassadors. … MORE

    First race in this year’s Revel Race Series 2018 – Mt. Charleston (third-year legacy runner) is a wrap and starting my fourth year as a team member of REVEL Ambassadors.

    Revel Mt. Charleston 2018 – Team Keep It Moving placed second for half marathon and seventh for marathon. This year’s expo was at a new, easier to access location – Cox Pavilion. Revel added some new perks to include a digital passport with opportunity to win prizes from selected vendors and a free race registration.

    My allergies have been in high gear since arriving in Las Vegas with a few bloody nose episodes.

    Glad the race started early to beat the heat. The forecasted wind gusts didn’t happen. Last year, I pushed and experienced the effects at SLO Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K. This time, I was conservative since I’m going to #RunSLO tomorrow.

    Overall, another great #RunRevel experience. Thanks to everyone who continues to support #RunRevel by volunteering and using my discount code for team registration. #KEEPITMOVING #FITBIT #RUNSIPEXPLORE #WINECOUNTRYHALF #DESTINATIONRACES #RUNTHEOC #RUNFARIAN #LEXUSLACEUP #NBMA1865 #BLKRUNNERS #BLACKMARATHONERS #COMICCONFIT #BEATYESTERDAY #FREEYOURENDORPHINS

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Plecerf FIRST-TIMER '18

    First time running a Revel race. Very well organized. I was very impressed by all aspects of the race organization from communications, aid stations, scenery, signs to swags not to … MORE

    First time running a Revel race. Very well organized. I was very impressed by all aspects of the race organization from communications, aid stations, scenery, signs to swags not to mention free pictures)

    A great place for PR and BQ. That said note that the downhill does take a toll on you and that prepping for downhill and quad strengthening can help you do well and recover faster. I did have my personal best there (and BQ) but not by a significant time because of the last few miles where I felt the impact of the first 20 miles downhill – I would have benefited from training more for downhill than I did (including serious quads strengthening!)

    Vegas was a also great destination for a fun weekend after the race
    Hope to run this race again or another Revel race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    trainwithv FIRST-TIMER '18

    So this is a race many runners do to Boston Qualify. Runners are bussed up the mountain and run 5000 ft downhill. some miles are over 300 ft downhill. The … MORE

    So this is a race many runners do to Boston Qualify. Runners are bussed up the mountain and run 5000 ft downhill. some miles are over 300 ft downhill. The start is at 7500ft and I had trouble breathing the first 2 miles and watched an elite runner, throw up every 1/2 mile until she pulled out of the race. Pain set in at mile 16 in my ankles and calves and so slowed down horribly but still had a 30 minute PR. Just train and train more running downhill and it is a good race to BQ

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Frank Bartschi
    fbartschi FIRST-TIMER '17

    It's an all downhill course. Beautiful Scenery. Pretty cold at the start. Very Well organized. Would love to do again. Sign up early, the race fills up quickly. MORE

    It’s an all downhill course. Beautiful Scenery. Pretty cold at the start. Very Well organized. Would love to do again. Sign up early, the race fills up quickly.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    jonoringading FIRST-TIMER '17

    Mt. Charleston Marathon in Las Vegas is a wonderful race to run your fastest! The parking and shuttles to the start were organized and easy to deal with, and the … MORE

    Mt. Charleston Marathon in Las Vegas is a wonderful race to run your fastest!
    The parking and shuttles to the start were organized and easy to deal with, and the ride up the mountain was comfortable.
    The race is on all paved roads with a little uphill section at the start, winding down from the mountain to the city with a lot of 4% grade. It flattens out for the last 10 miles with an uphill at mile 24-25. The porta-potties were clean, stocked and plentiful. The water stops were also frequent, with Powerade and water, and many having gels too. The volunteers had great energy, which more than made up for a lack of crowds along the course. The Post race food included Pizza and Pie! (as well as bananas, bagels, and water.) Timing was very professional, with finish times and place provided immediately after finishing with an attractive printed card! There was a wait at the end for the shuttles to get back to the Parking lot, hopefully they can reduce the wait time going forward.
    I almost forgot the goodies! A very high quality shirt, and running socks, disposable cotton gloves and a space blanket for the wait before the start of the run, and a delicious protein bar which I enjoyed after finishing.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey May 15, 2017 at 11:11pm

    Great finish time, John! You really did take speedy advantage of the downhill, and glad to hear your quads survived the pounding. Sounds like the folks at REVEL know what they're doing. I'd love to run this one next year, though I'll need to put in some serious downhill training to avoid blowing up before mile 20. Congrats, and thanks for the excellent review!

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    jonoringading May 16, 2017 at 3:47pm

    Thanks Mike! It was really fun being part of a small group of people I knew running this one. We have a training run up and down Wetmore Rd. in Livermore that help get you ready if you want to try it sometime.

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    M_Sohaskey May 16, 2017 at 5:43pm

    Good to know, thanks John – sustained downhills are tough to find. If you're familiar with Marin Ave in Berkeley, I used to run up and down that monster when we lived in Berkeley, to train for the Pikes Peak Ascent, Mt Diablo 50K and any other race that demanded hill training. But that was for the ups – not sure my quads and I would still be on speaking terms if I'd used it to train for downs!

     
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