Striking A Chord with Rock ’n’ Roll Running Series 

Mob Traffic manages rolling road closures for foot traffic.  

How do you manage the world’s largest running party on two of the most famous stretches of road in America? Easy. Call the region’s largest privately owned traffic control, special event, pedestrian management, and barricade provider. 

For more than a decade, Masters of Barricades (MOB Traffic) has been the go-to traffic management company for the Rock’ n’ Roll Running Series. They are responsible for rolling road closures over two days, minimizing disruption to area businesses while the 5k, 10k, and half marathon take place. 

“It’s two major events, hosted back-to-back, and includes the largest closure of Las Vegas Boulevard every year,” says Paul Ames, special events manager for MOB Traffic. “The event footprint is bigger than Formula 1, Life Is Beautiful, or the Super Bowl. And we’re proud to have grown up with the event, handling everything in-house.”

The size and scope of this event’s logistics over two days are breathtaking. On day one, MOB Traffic set up more than 450 delineators, 300 28-inch cones, 125 signs, 185 water-filled barriers, and seven arrow boards to protect some 30,000 visitors as they run, jog, or walk a 5K course that zig-zags around Downtown Las Vegas. The course began near the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center at Bridger Avenue and 4th Street before turning onto Las Vegas Boulevard. The race eventually doubles back after a brief excursion down Garces Avenue and then up to Carson Avenue, over to Maryland Parkway, and up to Fremont Street for its big finish at the east side of the Fremont Street canopy. 

The event is always festive, with participants doing things that one might only expect in Las Vegas. They might stop in the middle of the race for a tattoo or propose at the finish line. Spectators line many streets, all loud and super supportive, cheering on runners in costumes, tutus, and charity shirts. 

“The atmosphere is always infectious,” says Ames. “Helping make major events like these possible in our city is what our special event teams live for. It’s exciting to be part of something memorable for so many people that puts Las Vegas in the spotlight.”

It’s also hard work. As soon as MOB Traffic starts to break down their early morning setup in the evening, they are already busy planning the bigger weekend spectacle. The half marathon on the Las Vegas Strip started south near the intersection of Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard before looping up the Las Vegas Strip at the beautiful Welcome To Las Vegas sign. Half marathon runners take a split at the Sands, while 10k runners head all the way to Carson Avenue in Downtown Las Vegas before turning south once again toward the finish line at the Bellagio fountains. 

To mark off the entire route, MOB Traffic sets up 1,800 delineators, 1,400 28-inch traffic cones, 395 signs, 225 water-filled barrels, 32 arrowboards, and 23 message boards. It required almost all hands on deck and a command post to manage the entire stretch, with most road closures and detours in effect from 2:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Sunday for a race that began around 4:30 p.m. 

“We’ve seen some traffic management companies emphasize setups and lose steam during the breakdown,” says Ames. “But this is precisely why we’ve become the traffic management leaders in Las Vegas. There is no slowing down. Setups and breakdowns are very important to event hosts, participants, and area businesses. It’s our job to get Las Vegas Boulevard open again as quickly and safely as possible.”

According to Ames, MOB Traffic technicians understand that the first impression of any event for participants is traffic management, and the last impression for businesses is how quickly things can be returned to normal.

“The memories people make at events like the Las Vegas Rock’ n’ Roll Running Series should be about the race and any positive experiences they accumulate before, during, and after,” says Ames. “We never want anything to overshadow what should be another memorable event that keeps bringing people back to Las Vegas year after year.”

And many of them do. Rock’ n’ Roll marathon veteran Andy Wackerf from Boulder, Colorado, finished the 13.1-mile course in one hour, four minutes, 47 seconds. English-born Alice Wright won the women’s half-marathon in one hour, 14 minutes, and 10 seconds. British Columbia runner Ron Loewen won the men’s 10k in 33:37. Las Vegas local Katarina Tadich won the women’s 10k in 38:13. The 5k saw New Zealander Sullivan Clark cross the finish line in 16:58, and Canadian Glynis Milne finish first in the women’s 5k with a time of 19:35.

They were among 27,000 registered participants running for fun and glory over the weekend in an event organized by The IRONMAN Group. Highlights included the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, Fountains at Bellagio, and a 100,000-square-foot LED screen that invited runners to take the world’s “largest selfie.” Participants were also treated to live performances by DJ Cable, DJ Mal-Ski, and DJ Marlon Dasoul, who were also accompanied by electric acts. The events included several interactive experiences and games, photo opportunities, local artists, food trucks, and cocktails.

“We never think of any event as just a race or a job,” said Ames. “Event managers are trying to create something unforgettable like the ultimate running party in the world's entertainment and sports capital. You can’t beat that!”

In addition to having a great time, runners are also invited to become a St. Jude Hero. They can make a difference for kids while doing what they love, and even earn perks like a free race entry as a St. Jude Hero. St. Jude is the National Featured Charity for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series, as well as the title partner for the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series Washington D.C. and St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series Nashville. Participants can run for free when they register as a committed St. Jude fundraiser for most Rock ‘n’ Roll events in the United States. 

The Rock’ n’ Roll Running Series has already opened a presale registration for 2025 in Las Vegas. Next year’s event will take place February 22-23. MOB Traffic is already making plans. 

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