Marathon set for runners
     2016-09-16      By Media Report    editor@geringcitizen.com
On Saturday, September 24, runners from around the region, and even the world, will lace up their sneakers for a 26.2 or 13.1 mile run through the beautiful country that is the North Platte Valley.

For the fifth year, the Western Nebraska Community College Foundation and the Star-Herald are hosting the Platte Valley Companies Monument Mara- thon and Half-Marathon in the Gering and Scottsbluff areas.

In observance of the marathon’s fifth anniversary, organizers have added another option to the signature event, a 5K.

“This new race distance will give runners and walkers who prefer shorter distances to get involved with the race this year,” said race director Jennifer Rogers.

The full-marathon (26.1 miles), half-marathon (13.1 miles), and now 5K (3.1 miles) offer a unique experience to both runners and walkers.

The Scotts Bluff National Monument serves as the focal point and the course traverses through the park’s badlands and historic Mitchell Pass. The National Park Service is also celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year and is a key partner and offers access and opportunities for participants and their families to enjoy all aspects of Scotts Bluff National Monument.

Last year, nearly 500 runners and walkers, from 24 states, enjoyed a successful Platte Valley Companies Monument Marathon and Half-Marathon. The event continues to draw participants from all over the world for a first-class, small-town friendly race experience.

The marathon and half-marathon welcomes experienced and new runners to its course. Another change that has been made for this year’s race day is a slightly earlier start time for the full and half participants, 7:30 a.m.

“We give incredible support for runners on race day from our local emergency medical officials, every layer of government, health care, law enforcement, and, of course, our wonderful volunteers. They help to make safety and health of our runners our top priority, and with an earlier start-time, we hope to avoid some early afternoon heat and exhaustion seen in the last two years on race day,” Rogers said.

In conjunction with the marathon, the fifth annual Platte Valley Companies Monument Marathon Health Expo runs from noon to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23 at the Gering Civic Center. There will also be a pasta feed from 5 – 9 p.m.

Rogers, who is also the Foundation Director for Western Nebraska Community College, said the Monument Marathon is a major fundraiser for the college Foundation. It supports students, programs, and facilities at the college. To date, the Monument Marathon has helped to raise more than $200,000 for scholarships and support of students. Rogers indicated the marathon aids the Foundation in expanding access and maintaining affordability of education for students.

For more information on the Monument Marathon, visit online at monumentmarathon.com or contact Rogers at 308-630-6551.

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