Las Ve­gas beefs up marathon se­cu­rity af­ter at­tack

The Record (Troy, NY) - - SPORTS - By Regina Gar­cia Cano

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.

Tens of thou­sands of peo­ple par­tic­i­pated in the race with many wear­ing 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 on the event less than two months af­ter the dead­li­est mass shoot­ing in mod­ern U.S. 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 U.S. 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 is run­ning to honor a friend who was killed dur­ing the mas­sacre. Reincke said 28-year-old Cameron Robin­son, whom 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. “I’m run­ning be­cause Cameron can’t. He loved run­ning and that’s kind of my con­nec­tion to him. When I get my Ve­gas Strong shirt, I’m go­ing to have his name some­where front or back.”

The start of the marathon is usu­ally out­side Man­dalay Bay, where Stephen Pad­dock un­leashed gun­fire from a 32nd-floor suite. Be­cause of se­cu­rity con­cerns, the start line was moved a mile north.

Capt. Andrew Walsh said about 350 of­fi­cers were work­ing and were aided by a he­li­copter. Large city ve­hi­cles were po­si­tioned at key in­ter­sec­tions to pre­vent any­one from driv­ing onto the course.

Gilles Ru­bio pre­vailed on the men’s side Sun­day with a blis­ter­ing time of two hours, 38 min­utes and four sec­onds. Amer­i­cans Karel Burger and Tyler Pence fin­ished in sec­ond and third place, re­spec­tively, with times of 02:41.27 and 02:43.55.

Marisa Hird, also an Amer­i­can, won the women’s field with a time of 02:55.19.

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