Inaugural Monument Marathon attracts runners from 25 states: Nearly 400 runners test their mettle on Panhandle terrain
     2012-10-19      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Photos by Philip Eckerberg/for the Citizen Sam Malmberg, former Scottsbluff resident, now of Eaton, Colo., won the male full marathon division, with a time of 2:53:2.  
About 400 runners from across the country were in the valley this Saturday for the first Platte Valley Companies Monument Marathon – and it was big success.

“Despite the weather, it was a tremendous success,” said Dayle Wallien, director of the Western Nebraska Community College Foundation and marathon coordinator. “The runners were thrilled to see the beautiful scenery.”

Wallien said the most frequent comment she received was the overwhelming support from the committee and the community as the approximate 200 volunteers were out on the course to cheer on the runners.

Runners from 25 different states participated, from Washington State to Florida, from New York to California.

“News of events spreads fast in the runners’ circles, so we knew we had to do things right the first time,” Wallien said. “I think we were successful in making sure the marathon went well the first year.”

She added a lot of runners told her they would be back next year and would tell their friends about the event. “We had a runner from Sarasota, Fla. who told us he’s completed about 135 marathons and this one was in his top 10.”

A light rain did cause some challenges for the runners, but nothing they hadn’t faced before. “It was a bit muddy for the full marathon that ran around the north side of the bluffs,” Wallien said. “The wind was strong, but the runners took it all in stride because they’re used to all kinds of conditions.”

Wallien said she wanted to give a shout-out to the City of Gering and their Parks and Street Departments for the help they provided in making the marathon a success. The Street Department resurfaced an entire stretch of the route in the West Lawn Cemetery area after it has become muddy the day before the event.

“Everyone, from the cities to the county and so many others helped make this first marathon a big success,” she said. “Our tentative date for next year’s event is Oct. 19.”

Spencer Moul of Laramie, Wyo. won the male half marathon category, crossing the finish line in 1:26:40. Sara Stahl, a Morrill native, currently of Bellevue, Neb., led the female half marathon field, winning in 1:45:19.

Sam Malmberg, former Scottsbluff resident, now of Eaton, Colo., won the male full marathon division, with a time of 2:53:2. His wife, Jennifer Malmberg, a native of Mitchell, won the female full marathon division finishing in 3:24:39.



Photos by Philip Eckerberg/for the Citizen
Jennifer Malmberg, a native of Mitchell, won the female full
marathon division finishing in 3:24:39.


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