Monday, December 3, 2007

Las Vegas Marathon Hero

A Hop Skip and a Jump

Where else but Las Vegas would 18,000 people show up to take off most of their clothes and run around early on a Sunday morning in December? Where else but Las Vegas would showgirls wearing more clothes than runners, hand out free drinks to people racing by? Where else but Las Vegas would 150 couples say their wedding vows while running 26 miles? And where else but Las Vegas would a Russian woman win $ 45,000 without first having pulled a slot machine handle? The 2007 Las Vegas Marathon has run its course and been put to bed until it will be revived next December.

President Bush and Vladimir Putin might be at odds over world affairs but Las Vegas showed the best kind of d├ętente when Russian distance runner Silviya Skvortsova ran away with all honors including a heads up victory over her male competition. I'm not sure how much $ 45,000 is in rubles but no doubt it will spend like new money in the old Soviet Union. Aside from the money, why anybody would want to run a marathon is all Greek to me. My version of exercise is pushing the remote often enough to channel surf.

Admittedly Las Vegas is better known for its smilers than for its milers, but as in every event brought to our fair city the marathon was done with Las Vegas style and panache. With more Elvises per square mile than anywhere else on Earth, disappearing tigers, Blue Men, swooners, crooners, and even a few mooners, Las Vegas put its unique stamp on the Marathon.

On this day, however, there was one hero that was pretty much overlooked. Four years ago a couple of durggies who had allegedly been duped over the sale of some snow sought retribution. They knocked on the trailer door of the salesperson but only an 10 year old girl and her younger sister were inside. The druggies tricked the kids into opening the door and proceeded to stab both children viciously. The younger child died from her wounds but the 10 year old fought off death like the hero she is.

The injuries did take their toll though on Britteney. Paralyzed from the waist down she will be wheelchair bound for life. While adults all felt sorry for her, Britteney decided to get on with her young life and make the most of the hand dealt to her. She became an honor student and active in school activities. About three years ago she began to compete in wheelchair races and at age 15 she entered this year's Las Vegas Half Marathon wheelchair division. Oh yes, she not only completed the race, she won her division. Nobody who knew her seemed surprised.

The marathon was again a success. How about a little traveling music maestro.... let me think..... ok, "Hail to the Victors."

Dr. Forgot

1 comment:

Cathy said...

drforgot, i think running 26 miles is crazy, but i did run the 3k for gasparilla this year. we need more exercise than channel surfing. Cathy