Vegas Marathon Goes Ahead Under Tight Security

Runners spoke of defiance, strength after mass shooting
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 13, 2017 2:47 AM CST
Vegas Marathon Goes Ahead Under Tight Security
Competitors run by Mandalay Bay, the site of the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, during the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon along the Strip, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/John Locher)

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 participated in the race. Many wore T-shirts that read "Vegas Strong," in memory of the Oct. 1 attack. The start of the marathon is usually outside the Mandalay Bay, where Stephen Paddock unleashed gunfire from a 32nd-floor suite. Because of security concerns, the start line was moved a mile north. Some runners mentioned defiance, strength, and resilience among their reasons to take part in the event so soon after the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, the AP reports.

Ben Rumph says 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 says. "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 principle." Another runner, Esther Reincke, ran to honor Cameron Robinson, a friend who was killed in the massacre. "I'm running because Cameron can't," she says. "He loved running and that's kind of my connection to him."

(More Las Vegas stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.