Runner celebrating birthday on the run at Monument Marathon

September 27, 2018

SCOTTSBLUFF – Local runner Randal Devlin is turning 50 this Sunday, so part of the celebration will include a 13.2 mile run for the Platte Valley Companies Monument Marathon.

Originally from northern Canada, Devlin has lived in the Scottsbluff area for about 12 years and works for BNSF Railroad.

“I started distance running about two-and-a-half years ago when I lost a lot of weight and wanted to stay healthy,” he said. “This weekend will be the ninth race I’ve run this year.”

Most of the events Devlin has competed in are the 5K and 10K distances. His daughter joined him for some of them, including the Color Dash and the Superhero Run.

“This will be my second year running the half-marathon,” he said. “It’s so breathtaking everywhere you go. You’re right up against the Bluffs and the scenery is fantastic.”

Devlin said that every race is competitive, even if you’re just competing against yourself. And sometimes, you have to adapt to the run without any feedback.

“I got settled in to my first half-marathon after about three miles,” he said. “I had an app on my phone to tell me how many miles I’d run and what was my pace. About a mile-and-a-half in it stopped. It kept giving me updates every 10 minutes but it was always the same.”

Despite the malfunctioning technology, Devlin said he was hooked on the half-marathon right away.

“After the 2017 race I was telling my wife where I was hurting,” he said. “She asked if I was going to stick with shorter distance, but I told her I was already getting ready for next year.”

Marathon Coordinator Jennifer Sibal said as of Wednesday, 460 runners have registered. Entrants come from 30 states plus runners from Ontario and Saskatchewan in Canada.

For the first time this year, a runner will also be coming from Germany. Students from the Scottsbluff High School German classes have written welcome letters in German to present to Thomas Seitz, who will be running in his 16th marathon this Saturday.

This year’s lineup includes 76 runners in the full marathon, 273 in the half-marathon and 119 for the 5K run.

“This is a strong year for us in the 5K event,” Sibal said. “We have a lot of local participation for the 5K. We usually see an uptick just before the deadline because runners can register up until the night prior to the race. Some people wait to see what the weather will be like. Saturday looks like it will be a great day for running.”

Sibal said this year’s entrant list is a diverse group that includes both competition runners and those that take to the course simply for the joy of running.

“It’s always exciting to highlight our community,” she said. “It’s a beautiful area we sometimes take for granted because it’s in our own backyard. But I hear about it from runners that aren’t from the area.”

The Platte Valley Companies Monument Marathon, now in its 7th year, is a fundraising event for the Western Nebraska Community College Foundation. Monies are used to provide scholarship opportunities to students in need so they can continue their education.

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