|County approves Monument Marathon resolution|
|April 24, 2014 Jerry Purvis|
At their Monday meeting, Scotts Bluff County Commissioners approved a resolution for the 2014 Monument Marathon, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 27.
Started in 2012, the marathon has drawn runners and visitors from numerous states across the country. Last fall the Nebraska Tourism Commission presented its Outstanding Event Award for communities with populations up to 10,000 to marathon organizers.
New race coordinator Jennifer Rogers said it was broad-based community support and volunteer help that made the event possible. Because the route runs through the Wildcat Hills and the Gering and Scotts Bluff National Monument areas, it must approved by several governmental agencies.
“It takes more than 250 volunteers to make the event happen,” Rogers told the board. “I’ve received numerous comments from runners about how much they love the scenery and enjoy coming here to compete. They say it’s a wonderful experience and they want to come back in the future.”
She added that returning runners, along with their families, translate into economic development dollars for the community. Organizers also plan to do some national advertising in running related magazines to generate more interest in the event.
In 2012’s inaugural event, 423 runners participated in both the marathon and half marathon. Last year, 422 runners showed up. This year, organizers are hoping for about 500.
“This is a great event that does a lot for our community,” said Commissioner Mike Marker. “It’s one of more positive things we have to build on.”
Commissioner Ken Meyer agreed, saying it brings in people who otherwise might not visit the area. Visitors are always impressed by the breathtaking scenery once they arrive.
Registration for the Monument Marathon is now open. Interested persons can visit their website at monumentmarathon.com for more information and to register.
Funds raised from the event help Western Nebraska Community College provide scholarships for students in need.