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Platte Valley Companies Monument Marathon Racing Into Its Seventh Year

May 02, 2018
For four years, Jose Gonzalez of Gering has participated in the region's premier running event, the Platte Valley Companies Monument Marathon. "The people are what makes this marathon special, they motivate and encourage you the entire way and it's just such a positive vibe," Gonzalez said.
 
Gonzalez is a coach for the Guadalupe Boxing Club and began running as a way to gain endurance for boxing. This year, he hopes to make the Platte Valley Companies Monument Marathon his fifth full marathon. 
 
Even though he is a lifelong resident, he shares that his participation in the Monument Marathon was his first opportunity to view the beautiful badlands area in Gering. "Normally, that road is not accessible, so this is a unique opportunity for even local residents to experience the scenery," Gonzalez said. "It is my favorite part!"
 
For the seventh year, the Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC) Foundation and the Star-Herald are hosting the Platte Valley Companies Monument Marathon and Half Marathon on September 29 in Gering and Scottsbluff. Organizers are looking forward to providing the same great race experience the community has come to enjoy from the Monument Marathon.
 
In her first year as race coordinator, Jennifer Reisig expressed excitement about the different perspective this year will bring for her. "I've been a part of the Monument Marathon as a volunteer previously and I'm thrilled to see the race from the organizational standpoint," she said. "The incredible experience and guidance of the race crew and steering committee has provided a seamless transition. The Monument Marathon is such a great community event.
 
"We are excited to offer the 5K distance again this year," said Reisig, who also serves as the WNCC Foundation's executive director. "It has become a hit with our regional community. The distance gives runners and walkers who prefer shorter distances a way to get involved with this high-energy event."
 
The full marathon (26.1 miles), half marathon (13.1 miles), and 5K (3.11 miles) offer a unique experience to both runners and walkers. Reisig also stated, "The Monument Marathon is a great way to show off our beautiful state and highlights the western Nebraska hospitality everyone raves about!"
 
The Scotts Bluff National Monument serves as the focal point of the race, as the course traverses through the park's badlands and historic Mitchell Pass. The National Park Service is a key partner that offers access and opportunities for participants and their families to enjoy all aspects of Scotts Bluff National Monument. 
 
Last year, more than 500 runners and walkers from 27 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.
 
Hod Kosman, president and chief executive officer of Platte Valley Companies, stated the company is thrilled to again be the sponsor of the award-winning marathon and half marathon.
 
"We are excited to once again be a part of the Monument Marathon," said Kosman. "The Monument Marathon showcases much of what is so special about our area; the beautiful scenery, community support, and hometown pride come together to create a great event. We are proud to be able to support WNCC in this capacity."
 
The marathon and half marathon welcomes experienced and new runners to its course.
 
"We give incredible support for runners on race day, from our local EMS officials, every layer of government, health care, law enforcement, and, of course, our wonderful volunteers," Reisig said. "They help make the safety and health of our runners our top priority."
 
Reisig continued, "We receive great feedback from participants who love our course, the natural beauty we have in western Nebraska, and, most importantly, the incredible volunteers. They really work to make race day special for each of our participants."
 
The Monument Marathon is a major fundraiser for the WNCC Foundation, which supports students, programs, and facilities at WNCC. To date, the Monument Marathon has helped raise nearly $300,000 for scholarships and the support of WNCC students. 
 
"The marathon aids the Foundation in expanding access and maintaining affordability of education for students," Reisig said.
 
Like runners and walkers, volunteers can also sign up for the event at the Platte Valley Companies Monument Marathon website, monumentmarathon.com. Runners are encouraged to register now, as registration prices increase June 1.
 
The Platte Valley Companies Monument Marathon and Half Marathon are sanctioned and certified by the USA Track and Field Association. Registration information, caps, course videos, FAQs, and more is available online. Participants can also follow marathon announcements and other activity on Facebook at facebook.com/monumentmarathon.
 
In addition to Platte Valley Companies, major sponsors include Regional West as the finish line sponsor, Kelley Bean as the chip timing sponsor, Box Butte General Hospital as the full starting line sponsor, City of Gering Keno Committee as the half starting line sponsor, BNSF as the 5K sponsor, the Nebraska Chiropractic Association as the health care sponsor, and Scotts Bluff Area Visitors Bureau as the regional marketing sponsor.
 
Additional sponsorship opportunities are available at various levels for water stations and in-kind support for race day.
 
In conjunction with the marathon, organizers are hosting a health expo on September 28 at the Gering Civic Center. With the help of local vendors, the expo showcases some of the great products available in our Wyo-braska region.
 
For more information, contact Jennifer Reisig, WNCC Foundation executive director, 308-630-6551 or racedirector@wncc.edu.