Great Dam Race

Conquer two states and two time zones when entering the annual Run Laughlin race Saturday, Dec. 4. Mercury Events presents this Half Marathon, 12K and 5K event, sponsored by the Laughlin Tourism Commission, which will take runners through the desert and over Davis Dam for a scenic race in Nevada and crossing into Arizona.

Registration is available online at The registration fee for the Half Marathon is $125, the 12K is $70 and the 5K is $45.

Packet Pick Up

There will be a Race Expo on Friday, Dec. 3 (5 p.m.-8 p.m.) in the Santa Fe Room at the Tropicana where entrants can pick up their race packet info. Bring your ID to receive your bib, timing chip, shirt, goodie bag and other race information.

For those arriving after 8 p.m. on Friday, for a fee of $20 you can have your packet left at the Tropicana Check-in Desk for you to claim when you check in to your room. You must have a room reserved to be able to take advantage of this option.

VIP race day packet pickup service for the Half Marathon will be provided for a $40 fee at the Tropicana’s Victory Plaza. Race day packet pick up for the 5K and 12K will be available for free. Participants using the race day packet pickup service should plan on arriving at least 30 minutes prior to their race time.

Start Line

The staging area for all races is located in front of the Tropicana Laughlin and In N Out. There will be free parking available in the parking structure behind the hotel. Half marathon runners must come to the Tropicana and then board a bus at your designated time to the start line at Laughlin High School.

Please note that cars can enter the high school to drop you off before 6:35 a.m. but no unauthorized vehicles are allowed on the course during the race. The finish line will be at the Tropicana. If runners choose to drive to the starting line at Laughlin High School, there will not be any shuttles to transport them from the Tropicana to the high school after the race.

The 5K and 12K runners will start and finish in front of In N Out and must be at the starting line by 7:40 a.m.

Half Marathon Course

The Half Marathon course begins at 7 a.m. in the parking lot in front of Laughlin High School and weaves through the school grounds, including one lap around the track, before heading onto the highways around Laughlin. The first couple of miles are a steady climb toward Highway 163.

From Needles Highway you will cross over onto the Westbound lanes of Highway 163 where you will be running east for 3.3 miles downhill toward Davis Dam Road. There is a brief ascent onto the rim of Davis Dam where runners cross from Nevada into Arizona. Here there will be a “selfie spot” to take your photograph with one foot in each state. The journey through Arizona is relatively brief and after making the turnaround you return to re-cross the Davis Dam back into Nevada.

The return to Casino Drive will be along the banks of the Colorado River via Laughlin’s Heritage Greenway Trail, over the Pedestrian Bridge and down to the Tropicana.

5K Course

The 5K begins at 8 a.m. in front of In N Out. From Casino Drive runners head north, over the Pedestrian Bridge to the Heritage Greenway Trail. The course is due north with a turnaround point, where runners will head back the exact way they came along the river, over the bridge and down Casino Drive.

12K Course

The 12K begins at 7:50 a.m. in front of In N Out. Runners start along Casino Drive and head north toward the Pedestrian Bridge. Runners travel past the 5K turnaround and on toward Davis Dam. There is a solid hill to climb to reach the peak of the dam. Take your picture at the selfie spot between states, then enjoy the downhill run back into Nevada, the way you came.

Time Limit

To enter the half marathon, runners must be able to finish the course in 4 hours and keep an 18 minute/mile pace or better. In the event a runner cannot finish the race, or falls behind, a sweeper vehicle will be following the final law enforcement car that can pick them up for transport to the finish. If you would like to continue, you will do so at your own risk. The finish line will stay up as long as possible and medals will be waiting in the post-race festival area until noon.

Post Race Celebration

After completing the race, runners receive a finisher’s medal and may enter the post-race festival. There will be food and fluids designed to help your body begin the recovery process immediately. For those over 21, there will be a beer garden. Every finisher receives one free beer and additional beer tickets can be purchased on site.


Half Marathon, 12K and 5K finishers medals will be awarded to all participants who cross the finish line within the allotted time. Special awards will be given to the first through third place male and female finishers of each race in 15 different age groups. The age group awards ceremony will take place at 9:30 a.m. in the post-race celebration area.

Spectator Guidelines

There are many great spots to watch participants run the course. The spots that are the easiest to get are along the home stretch on Casino Drive or near the Pedestrian Bridge that crosses Highway 163. This is mile 12 of the half marathon and is a spot where the 5K and 12K will pass by twice.

NOTE: Spectators will need to select one spot to view the runners (other than the finish line) and then will be required to wait until all runners pass before you will be allowed to move your car. As the roads will be shut down to vehicle traffic, “leapfrogging” throughout the course will be impossible.

At the starting line at Laughlin High School there are several spots which will give you a great view of the runners. All cars should be parked in the lot in front of the school. Get to the school by driving west on Bruce Woodbury to Needles Highway, turn right, then turn right again onto Hiko Springs Road, following this to the high school.

There are two parking areas off of Davis Dam Road. Spectators must arrive before 6:15 a.m. to park in these locations and will not be able to leave until after 9 a.m. Access these two lots by driving north on Casino Drive (toward the Riverside Resort) and proceed west on Highway 163. At Davis Dam Road, turn right and continue to the bottom of the hill.