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Kahugu, Jelagat Win New Las Vegas Marathon
December 15, 2006
Courtesy of Running USA wire.

$50,000 Challenge goes to Kahugu; event record 16,047 entrants

LAS VEGAS - (December 10, 2006) - In conditions of cool, clear weather with a start line temperature of 53 degrees, the second annual New Las Vegas Marathon took a dramatic step toward becoming one of the world's top destination marathons. Runners from all 50 states and 42 nations welcomed the opportunity to run the electrifying neon corridor of the world famous Las Vegas Strip.

Joseph Kahugu of Kenya crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 16 minutes, 23 seconds to take home $15,000 and in addition, the $50,000 Challenge bonus for the first person to break the tape. The Challenge gives top women a head start based on the best marathon times of the elite runners. For this year's race, the Challenge time differential was 17 minutes, 52 seconds.

In her marathon debut, Kenya's Jemima Jelagat won the women's race in 2:35:22 and $15,000. Jelagat, who ran alone the entire race and faced strong headwinds in the last 12 miles, held the Challenge lead until just past the 25 mile mark.

Runner-ups were Noah Talam (Kenya) in 2:17:57 and Angie Bestwick (USA / NV) in 2:56:16 who each received $7500. Mark Roberts (Great Britain) and Pauline McLean (Canada) placed third in 2:37:42 and 2:59:20 respectively and each pocketed $4000. Defending Clark County champions Abebe Yimer (2:41:25) and Bestwick each received $10,000 as the fastest local runners.

Both races began with a spectacular display of pre-dawn fireworks and an energetic live performance by Blue Man Group on the start line. The race further succeeded in its mission to offer more entertainment per mile than any marathon in the world with a 400% increase in entertainment centers over last year. In the last four miles alone, there were ten "Home-Stretch Entertainment Stations" to inspire participants to the finish line, where performers from Mystere by Cirque du Soleil welcomed the finishers.

Among the race's many "Only in Vegas" experiences - 75 Elvis runners, nine showgirls and 24 couples who got married or renewed their vows at the mile 5 Run Thru Wedding Chapel. Host Hotel Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino produced blackjack felts customized with New Las Vegas Marathon artwork and a limited edition $5 gaming chip commemorating this year's race.

The New Las Vegas Marathon, in just its second year, attracted an event record 16,047 participants - up from 10,773 when the race debuted in 2005. By popular demand, race organizers added a half-marathon to this year's race that contributed to the explosive 50% growth of the event. If the event grows an additional 50% for the 3rd annual New Las Vegas Marathon on Sunday, December 9, 2007, it will reach the 25,000 participant cap set by Clark County Nevada and the City of Las Vegas. Online registration for the 2007 race will open on January 9, 2007 at LVMarathon.com.

2nd New Las Vegas Marathon
Las Vegas, NV, Sunday, December 10, 2006

MEN (times unofficial)
1) Joseph Kahugu, Kenya, 2:16:23, $65,000
2) Noah Talam, Kenya, 2:17:57, $7500
3) Mark Roberts, Great Britain, 2:37:42, $4000
4) Abebe Yimer, Ethiopia / NV, 2:41:25, $10,000*
*Clark County champion

WOMEN (times unofficial)
1) Jemima Jelagat, Kenya, 2:35:22, $15,000
2) Angie Bestwick, USA / NV, 2:56:16, $17,500*
3) Pauline McLean, Canada, 2:59:20, $4000
*includes $10,000 as Clark County champion

For more information, check out www.lvmarathon.com


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