For two years, Andrew Wells of Scottsbluff, Ne. has participated in the region’s premier running event, the Platte Valley Companies Monument Marathon and Half-Marathon. “Having participated in large events, it’s wonderful to have a race that has a small town feel with a big attention to detail,” says Wells.
Andrew moved back to the Scottsbluff area in 2015 after attending the University of Wyoming and meeting his wife Brittany. They now work with the Wells’ family business Brown Sheep Company in Mitchell. Two years ago his wife Brittany ran the half marathon and Andrew volunteered as a bike marshal on the full marathon course. “I was really inspired by the runners I encountered on the course and decided to run the half last year. This year I’m training for the full marathon,” says Wells.
For the sixth 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 30 in Gering/Scottsbluff, Neb. Organizers are looking forward to providing the same great race experience the community has come to enjoy about the Monument Marathon.
“The addition of the 5K race last year was very popular, and we are offering that again this year,” says Jennifer Rogers, race director and WNCC Foundation executive director. “It began as a celebration of our fifth year of the Monument Marathon, and the new race 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 now 5K (3.11 miles) offer a unique experience to both runners and walkers. Rogers also states, “This year’s event has also received designation as an official event commemorating Nebraska’s 150th anniversary. The Monument Marathon is a great way to show off our beautiful state in this celebratory year!”
The Scotts Bluff National Monument serves as the focal point as 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 that offers access and opportunities for participants and their families to enjoy all aspects of Scotts Bluff National Monument.
Last year, nearly 600 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.
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 proud to once again support the Monument Marathon,” says Kosman. “Over the past six years, the Monument Marathon has become one of the keynote events in our area and is a great way to showcase our local community. Platte Valley Companies and Western Nebraska Community College has a strong partnership that benefits everyone in our community and the Monument Marathon is a great example of that.”
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,” says Rogers. “They help to make safety and health of our runners our top priority.”
Rogers states, “Every year brings great feedback from our participants who love our course, the natural beauty we have in Western Nebraska, and, most importantly, our incredible volunteers. They really pull out all of the stops to make race day really special for each of our participants.”
The Monument Marathon is a major fundraiser for the WNCC Foundation and its efforts. The Foundation supports students, programs, and facilities at WNCC. To date, the Monument Marathon has helped to raise nearly $250,000 for scholarships and support of WNCC students.
“The marathon aids the Foundation in expanding access and maintaining affordability of education for students,” says Rogers.
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, facebook.com/monumentmarathon.
In addition to Platte Valley Companies, major sponsors include Regional West Medical Center as the finish line sponsor, Kelley Bean as the chip timing sponsor, Box Butte General Hospital as starting line sponsor, BNSF as the 5K sponsor, the Nebraska Chiropractic Association as the healthcare 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 29 at the Gering Civic Center. With the help of local vendors, the expo showcases some of the great products available in our Wyobraska region.
“We encourage everyone to participate,” says Kosman. “Whether you are a runner or a volunteer, there is a job for every one of every age. Only by working together can we continue to hold such a successful event.”