Wednesday, June 10, 2020 / by Ken Couture
The coronavirus pandemic and a Raiders home game prompted Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon organizers to move off their planned November dates and look for alternatives.
The marathon was scheduled for Nov. 14-15 on the Strip, and participants who are registered have been sent emails.
“We are working diligently with our various host city partners and stakeholders on all potential options …,” the IRONMAN Group said in a statement
Las Vegas Events president Pat Christenson said organizers hoped to soon announce new fall dates, but were handicapped by the pandemic that makes long-term planning tricky. Because nearly 8,000 runners had registered for the event, Christenson said organizers didn’t want to delay notifying them.
“I think they fully intend to do the event,” Christenson said.
Marathon organizers also knew it was not feasible to compete with a Raiders game against the Denver Broncos scheduled for Nov. 15 at Allegiant Stadium.
“It would be very difficult to close the Strip and do a Raider game,” Christenson said.
More than 35,000 runners registered for last November’s marathon and half marathon, which are run simultaneously on the Sunday night of race weekend.
Just because marathon organizers are looking to change plans doesn’t mean runners will avoid Las Vegas that weekend.
Cicely and David Sapp were married in the event’s “Run Thru Wedding” four years ago between the third- and fourth-mile markers. They have returned to run the half marathon each year since, and are looking to run a virtual version this year in Las Vegas.
They will use the MapMyRun app to create a new course “and probably end at White Castle,” said Cicely Sapp, 34.
“It’s kind of a pain if you’re trying to run on the Strip and go over all the pedestrian bridges and walkways,” she said. “We’ll be able to end where we end at and get some burgers and enjoy the night. We love going out there, and our anniversary trip is something we always look forward to, so we’re going to adapt.”
Randy Lazer, 60, was disappointed to hear the news about the marathon not going on as scheduled.
Lazer, who lives in Las Vegas, has run the event 18 times in a row after recovering from a massive heart attack and then open-heart surgery.
He is hopeful that conditions regarding the virus will be much more conducive this fall to a safe event.
“You probably need to evaluate if this thing (virus) has not come back and here you are in the middle of November, maybe 90 percent of the field could run it,” Lazer said. “Who knows, maybe by that time there would be immediate testing and you would know that someone wouldn’t test positive for the virus and let them run.”
The fall event was the first of two scheduled Las Vegas marathons, with the second version scheduled for April 3, 2021. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board of Directors unanimously approved the second event last November.
Tommy Puzey won November’s 26.2-mile race with a time of 2 hours, 28 minutes, 4 seconds, his second Las Vegas victory in a row.
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