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Platte Valley Companies Monument Marathon Celebrates its Fifth Year

May 10, 2016

For two years, Aaron Fabel of Scottsbluff has participated in the region's premier running event. He shared his thoughts on the race: "Having just run in a Colorado-based marathon last weekend, I can say our Monument Marathon is by far the best in regards to organization and overall experience."

For the fifth year, the Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC) Foundation and the Star-Herald are hosting the Platte Valley Companies Monument Marathon and Half-Marathon in Gering/Scottsbluff, Nebraska. As the race celebrates its fifth anniversary, some exciting changes and additions will be happening on this year's race day, scheduled for September 24.

"After a lot of planning and discussion, we are happy to unveil a wonderful addition to our annual signature event: a 'Fifth Year 5K,' said Jennifer Rogers, race director and WNCC Foundation director. "This new race distance will give runners and walkers who prefer shorter distances to get involved with the race this year."

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.

"This year also marks the first Training Guide offered by the Monument Marathon organizers and volunteers. We will be unveiling training routes and how to prepare for our course through a successful training schedule," Rogers said.

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 especially in this momentous fifth anniversary year.

"We are proud to support such an amazing event and excited to be witness to how much this event has grown in just five short years," Kosman said. "The race is a wonderful way to showcase the natural beauty of our area as well as support Western Nebraska Community College."

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 EMS 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.

Event organizers also recently unveiled a regional race calendar on its website, Local community members looking to find races throughout the year can find them in a "one-stop-shop" listing to support local events and to help runners train year-round.

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 more than $200,000 for scholarships and support of WNCC students. Rogers indicated the marathon aids the Foundation in expanding access and maintaining affordability of education for students.

Like runners and walkers, volunteers can also sign up for the event at the Platte Valley Companies Monument Marathon website,

Rogers said, "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 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 the marathon announcements and other activity on Facebook, enjoy discounted pricing by signing up early, as registration prices will increase June 1.

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, Nebraska Transport Company and Box Butte General Hospital as starting line sponsors, and Scotts Bluff Area Visitors Bureau as the regional marketing sponsor. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available for the Fifth Year 5K, Training Guide, water stations, and in-kind support for race day. Event organizers are also pleased to unveil a new partnership with the NEXT Young Professionals social networking group for this year's health expo, which will take place at the Gering Civic Center on September 23.

"We encourage everyone to participate," Kosman said. "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.

For more information, contact Jennifer Rogers, WNCC Foundation Director, 308-630-6551 or