|Fritz Van de Kamp of Salt Lake City, right, and Nick McCombs battle the high winds during the early portion of the Mesquite Marathon Saturday, Nov. 20. Some 650 competitors entered the event won by Van de Kamp.
Amber Green of St. George captures the womens title in the Mesquite Marathon.
MESQUITE, Nev. -- You might say that Fritz Van de Kamp and Nick McCombs adopted a practice used in NASCAR Sprint Cup events during the second Mesquite Marathon which ended Nov. 20 at the CasaBlanca Resort.
With winds howling most of the day in an event run through Utah and Arizona before finishing at the CasaBlanca Resort, Van de Kamp and McCombs Amber Green of St. George captures the women's title in the Mesquite Marathon.
Van de Kamp recorded a time of 2 hours, 33.27 minutes for the overall victory; and a $1,500 payday. McCombs had a second-place time of 2:40.36 in an event that drew 650 entries.
While the teamwork wasn’t planned in advance, the idea worked well as runners dealt with blustery conditions on a unique course featuring everything from a downhill slope to hilly conditions and a straightaway at the finish.
“I just pulled away at about the 21 mile mark,” said the 37 year-old Van de Kamp, a Salt Lake City resident who was competing in his first marathon since injuring his knee earlier this year. “It was really tough out there, and we just decided to help out one another. I’d break the wind for awhile, and then Nick would do the same for me. It sure is a lot more enjoyable running in a marathon when the wind is not blowing.”
McCombs, a 29 year-old physical therapist assistant from Brigham City, Utah, agreed that the teamwork paid off for the two.
“I was just tired, so I dropped back,” said McCombs, who finished runnerup in the marathon’s men’s division.
McCombs and Van de Kamp were far ahead of the rest of the field for the first several miles leading by as much as 10 minutes.
In yet another teamwork performance, St. George housewife and mother of three Amber Green won the women’s marathon division competing with her father, Danny Holt, a real estate agent from St. George; along with husband, Matt; and Matt’s brother Adam Green.
Mrs. Green dedicated the marathon victory to her brother, Corey, who died in 2001. She had a winning effort of 3:05.28 for a $1,500 payday.
“I’m sure he’s up there watching us,” Mrs. Green smiled. “I have won other marathons before but the money here was huge.”
Other winners included Michele Suazek in the women’s half marathon, 1:26.37; Kyle Perry in the men’s half marathon, 1:11.07; Leon Durbin in the men’s 10k, 46.03; Becky Burnett in the women’s 10k, 48.01; Jonathan Nichols in the men’s 5k, 22:04; and Mary Spear in the women’s 5k, 24.45.
Black Gaming Sporting Events Manager Christian Adderson praised the event.
With the increase in participation, the event was another great success,” said Adderson, who has been with Black Gaming for five years. “We had many positive responses from runners many of whom were participating in the Mesquite Marathon for the first time.
“Mesquite is such an ideal year-round destination. This is another great example of a special promotion in Mesquite.”
Cris Crotz, the reigning Miss Nevada, lauded the event and the city of Mesquite.
“Nobody works harder than the city of Mesquite,” said Miss Crotz who will represent Mesquite in Miss America competition in January.”
The event was presented by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Findlay Automotive in St. George and the Mesquite Resort Association which includes the CasaBlanca, Virgin River and Eureka hotel casinos.