Se­cu­rity ramped up at Ve­gas marathon af­ter mass shoot­ing

Tempo - - News -

LAS VE­GAS (AP) – Las Ve­gas ramped up se­cu­rity for the an­nual Rock `n Roll Marathon, which was the first major out­door event on the Strip since the mass shoot­ing.

The city posted snipers and used a he­li­copter to watch for dan­ger as tens of thou­sands of peo­ple par­tic­i­pated in the race. Many wore T-shirts that read “Ve­gas Strong,” in mem­ory of the Oct. 1 at­tack.

Some run­ners who picked up their race pack­ages Thurs­day at a con­ven­tion cen­ter men­tioned de­fi­ance, strength, and re­silience among their rea­sons to take part in the event less than two months af­ter the dead­li­est mass shoot­ing in mod­ern US his­tory rat­tled a city known for its par­ty­ing at­mos­phere.

With an Amer­i­can flag pinned to his shirt, Ben Rumph, who lives in the Las Ve­gas sub­urb of Hen­der­son, said he never con­sid­ered can­cel­ing his par­tic­i­pa­tion af­ter the shoot­ing. The 80-year-old US Navy vet­eran had trained year-round to run the half marathon for the 10th time.

“The shoot­ing was an en­tity, an event, by it­self. I was go­ing to run whether that hap­pened or not,” Rumph said. “I'm a vet­eran. I stood up and raised my hand that I would ei­ther kill some peo­ple or be killed to pro­tect what we have in this coun­try. My de­ci­sion is to do the same thing to­day. I don't mean to go kill or any­thing like that, but to stand up for that prin­ci­pal.”

An­other half-marathon par­tic­i­pant, Es­ther Reincke, ran to honor a friend who was killed dur­ing the mas­sacre. Reincke said 28-year-old Cameron Robin­son, who she de­scribed as a happy and “wicked smart” guy, had been part of her team in a 200-mile re­lay race last year. They both met while work­ing for the city of Las Ve­gas.

“It is still hard to be­lieve not only that this event hap­pened in our city, but for it to hit home that close, he was one of our co-work­ers and a friend of mine,” Reincke, 60, said.

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