|WNCC student grateful for Monument Marathon|
|October 01, 2015 Jerry Purvis|
York Thomas won this year's half marathon with a time of 1:18:51.
A field of 420 runners registered for last Saturday’s Monument Marathon as they took in the area’s beautiful scenery and also helped raise funds to help more students get a college education.
The Platte Valley Companies Monument Marathon, which just completed its fourth year, is a fundraising event for Western Nebraska Community College Foundation. And race director Jennifer Rogers said the event is on track to bring in another $50,000, just like last year.
‘We’re really pleased with the results,” Rogers said. “We’ve been getting some fantastic feedback from participants about how beautiful the area is. And they were also very complimentary of our wonderful volunteers and the support they got for the race. They loved the event.”
Rogers said participants were also very impressed during the awards ceremony when WNCC student Michelle Talbot shared how receiving a scholarship has helped her continue her college education.
“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from our runners they love the fact the race money is going toward an important cause,” Rogers said. “They want to keep coming back and support that cause. One runner also said we should raise the registration fee to help even more students.”
The Monument Marathon pulls in runners from around the country and also internationally. Twenty-nine different states were represented this year, including a runner from Uruguay. Last year, entrants included runners from the Netherlands.
“We’re becoming well-known in the running community for a well-organized, very friendly and beautiful race,” Rogers said. “A lot of people call us the best race in Nebraska.”
One of those was Pete Kostelnick from Lincoln, who won the full marathon with a 2:52:57 time. He recently won an ultra-marathon in Death Valley and has competed in more than 50 events around the country. His post-race comments included this is the best marathon he’s run.
“That praise really speaks to the community in how they come out to support the marathon,” Rogers said.
Other top five finishers in the full marathon were Micah Mohler from Sammamish, Wash. in second with a time of 3:10:14. In third was Jamie Trenkle of Kearney, coming in at 3:11:52. Fourth place, the top female runner, was Julia Viel of Boulder, Colo. at 3:25:37. Jonathan Rowe from Apex, N.C. came in fifth with a 3:29:43 time. And Gering native Jarred Berger placed sixth 1:30:57at 3:32:18.
Berger said he’s run the half marathon a couple of times and decided to step it up this year to run the entire course. He’s also competed in other events around the area.
“I’m not getting any younger,” Berger said. “I had the time to train and decided now’s the time to do it. I wanted to give it a try at least once.”
Berger, who lives near the marathon course, said he’s spent a lot of time training in the area and is familiar with the course. “From beginning to end, this is a well-run event and it definitely exceeded my expectations. Everybody was great,” he said.
The event also included a half marathon. The top five finishers in the half marathon division were York Thomas of Lincoln with a 1:18:51 time. Second went to John Seiler II of Scottsbluff with a 1:29:16 time. Nathan Sindt of Ft. Collins, Colo. placed third at 1:30:01, while Nathan Stahl of Bellevue, Neb. was fourth at 1:30:40. Rounding out the top five was Brian Bergt of Amherst, Neb. at 1:30:57.
Next year marks the fifth anniversary of the Monument Marathon. It happens on Sept. 24, 2016 and even more runners are expected to participate. Rogers said registration will be opening soon, so check the event website, monumentmarathon.com, for more information.