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29,000 marathoners have fun, run for charity

Text/Photos by Zen S. Laluna

Las Vegas – The Second Annual Zappos.com Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half-Marathon 2010 kicks off with close to 29,000 enthusiastic runners of all kinds, ages, colors, shapes and sizes who run for fun, and give to charity as beneficiary Crohns’s & Colitis Foundation of America is poised to receive several millions again this year. It received $3.9 million in 2009.

And the winners are 35-year-old Josh Cox, for the 26.2-mile Marathon/Men’s, who arrived at the finish line in 2:25:5,while his counterpart, elite marathoner Dorota Gruca of Poland (who now lives in New Mexico) crossed the finish line in 2:44:36 to win the Marathon/Women’s. She is poised to retire after this event and get married on New Year’s Eve, according to news reports.

The facts of this year’s marathon and half-marathon are mind-boggling. Get this: There are 28,500 official entrants; 950 Crohn’s & Colitis Team Challenge participants, 60,000 spectators; 2,000 volunteers in yellow t-shirt; 40 elite athletes, 300 running Elvises, 75 couples in wedding attires getting married at the Run-Through Wedding (ending at the Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino), 450 medical personnel, 200 race officials, 350 uniformed police, 1,000 Water Station volunteers, and 50,000 people who attended the Las Vegas Marathon Expo at the Sand’s Convention Center.

Entertainment and food refreshments range from 33 live bands, 293 musicians, 450 high school cheerleaders, 900 pom poms, 25 stages along the routes, 17 medical stations, 21 refreshment stations, 80,000 bottles of Arrowhead Water, 22,500 bananas, 18,000 bagels, 30,000 GU energy gel packets, 7,500 gallons of Cytomax energy drink, and 30,000 marathon bars for energy.

The equipment used before, during and after the event is equally mind-boggling. 28,300 Finishers medals, 250 Sponsor banners, 100 wireless phones, 75 2-way Walkie-Talkies, 3,100 feet of rope, 10,000 feet of fencing, 600,000 paper cups, 6,800 trash bags, 3,000 Port-0-Johns, 1,500 barricades, 30 delivery trucks, 5 fork lifts, 28,500 runners t-shirts, 28,500 safety pins, 35 generators for electrical power, 468 pairs of Work Gloves, 57 tents, 4,000 cones, 600 delineators, 500 40-lb bags of ice, 366 cots, and 1,200 tables.

And the Asian Office, a new division aligning with Competitor Group, Inc., started off this year with its Asian-inspired components such as enlisting runners from Asian countries and Asian American communities in the U.S., holding Asian Fun Site at the corner of Las Vegas Blvd. South and Reno Avenue, while Brett Michaels and his band entertain runners at the huge Mandalay Bay parking lot.

Judging from the enthusiastic response from runners all over the country, the Annual Las Vegas Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon & Half Marathon promises to become even bigger and better every year.

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