Monument marathoners hit the highways Saturday
     2015-09-24      By Frank Marquez    editor@geringcitizen.com
Photos by Nathan Flowers/Spectrum Photography - Female and male winners of last year’s Monument Marathon Ilonka Langeberg from Krommenie, Holland, and Travis Bourett of Kearney run past some of Gering’s more famous sites along the route. 
A tradition of autumn, the Platte Valley Companies Monument Marathon is returning for its fourth running on Saturday, Sept. 26.

This year, 417 runners from around the world have registered for the full-marathon and half-marathon, both following courses through some of the area’s more scenic landscape. Ninety runners have entered the full marathon, and will begin their 26.2-mile journey in the Wildcat Hills, and the remainder of runners will tackle the 13.1-mile distance starting at the Robidoux Trailer Park adjacent to the Five Rocks Amphitheater.

Both races start early at 8 a.m.

Race officials have issued a road impact report, warning of lane closures on Highway 71, Scenic 92 to Highway 92, and from Five Rocks Road to Prairie Street. For access to the downloadable map and for complete information on the race, visit monumentmarathon.com. Considering the safety of runners and volunteers, Chairman of the Western Nebraska Community College Foundation and race director Jennifer Rogers asks drivers along these roads to “be patient and plan head.”

Aside from promoting physical fitness and attracting attention to the City of Gering, the marathon is also a fundraising event for the scholarship program at WNCC.
“We all understand the economic impact the college has on our community,” said Jennifer Rogers, chairman of the WNCC Foundation and race director. “In support of scholarships, the foundation is committed to making sure all students, no matter their income level, have access to a quality education. Because of the event, we’ve raised about $150,000 in the first three years, averaging $50,000 a year. We’re on track to raise the same amount this year.”

The Scotts Bluff National Monument serves as the focal point. Runners cross the plains south of Gering, file through historic Mitchell Pass, and circle the monument.
“This is one of the premiere events in our community,” said Hod Kosman, the CEO for marathon title sponsor Platte Valley Companies. “It gives us a great opportunity to showcase the beauty of our region, and allows us to bring people to the community to experience the friendliness of the people we have here.”

Several alumni of past Monument Marathons remembered their involvement in the event. Justin Shaddick, a Scottsbluff High School teacher, said he’s still new to the sport, but found real enjoyment in running the course in west Nebraska.

Tiann Colwell has competed in several marathons, but she’s expecting a child this fall, she said, but plans to volunteer this year before getting back on the course.
Physical therapist Carl Baird said the Monument Marathon was his first time back after years of not running. After running the half-marathon his first year, he ran the full-marathon the following year.
Longtime attorney Tom Holyoke is proof you don’t to be young to run in a marathon. “I’ve competed in the last two half-marathons for the challenge,” he said. “You’re never too old to face a challenge. This gives me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone.”
In 2013, the Monument Marathon was presented with the Outstanding Event Award by the Nebraska Tourism Commission, and the event is sanctioned and certified by the USA Track and Field Association.
The marathon relies on scores of volunteers to help with registration, set-up, and getting water and food to the runners at 11 aid stations along the course.

Kosman encouraged everyone to participate in the event. “Whether you’re a runner or a volunteer, or want to cheer on the runners, there’s a job for people of every age. Only by working together can we continue to hold such a successful event.”
Runners can also visit the Monument Marathon Expo tomorrow (Sept. 25) from noon to 9 p.m. at the Gering Civic Center. Marathon sponsors and representatives for other local organizations and attractions will be there, along with vendors for athletic gear.

Rogers. “In support of scholarships, the foundation is committed to making sure all students, no matter their income level, have access to a quality education. Because of the event, we’ve raised about $150,000 in the first three years, averaging $50,000 a year. We’re on track to raise the same amount this year.”

The Scotts Bluff National Monument serves as the focal point. Runners cross the plains south of Gering, file through historic Mitchell Pass, and circle the monument.
“This is one of the premiere events in our community,” said Hod Kosman, the CEO for marathon title sponsor Platte Valley Companies. “It gives us a great opportunity to showcase the beauty of our region, and allows us to bring people to the community to experience the friendliness of the people we have here.”

Several alumni of past Monument Marathons remembered their involvement in the event. Justin Shaddick, a Scottsbluff High School teacher, said he’s still new to the sport, but found real enjoyment in running the course in west Nebraska.

Tiann Colwell has competed in several marathons, but she’s expecting a child this fall, she said, but plans to volunteer this year before getting back on the course.
Physical therapist Carl Baird said the Monument Marathon was his first time back after years of not running. After running the half-marathon his first year, he ran the full-marathon the following year.

Longtime attorney Tom Holyoke, 70, is proof you don’t have to be young to run in a marathon.

“I’ve competed in the last two half-marathons for the challenge,” Holyoke said. “You’re never too old to face a challenge. This gives me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone.”

In 2013, the Monument Marathon was presented with the Outstanding Event Award by the Nebraska Tourism Commission, and the event is sanctioned and certified by the USA Track and Field Association.

The marathon relies on scores of volunteers to help with registration, set-up, and getting water and food to the runners at 11 aid stations along the course.
Kosman encouraged everyone to participate in the event. “Whether you’re a runner or a volunteer, or want to cheer on the runners, there’s a job for people of every age. Only by working together can we continue to hold such a successful event.”

Runners can also visit the Monument Marathon Expo tomorrow (Sept. 25) from noon to 9 p.m. at the Gering Civic Center. Marathon sponsors and representatives for other local organizations and attractions will be there, along with vendors for athletic gear.

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