Las Vegas Sun

September 25, 2017

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Read and Run’ event draws more than 300 participants

Running event promotes health and reading, say organizers


Kyle B. Hansen

Participates in the 5K race portion of the Henderson Libraries Read and Run cross the finish line in front of the Water Street library on Saturday.

Read and Run

Participants prepare to begin the one-mile walk portion of the Henderson Libraries Read and Run Saturday on Water Street. Launch slideshow »

5K race results

Overall Female Winners
  • 1. Gabriela Benito: 21:12
  • 2. Samantha Swan: 21:20
  • 3. Claudia Perez: 21:53

Overall Male Winners
  • 1. Jeff Gardner: 16:56
  • 2. Daniel Torres: 18:06
  • 3. Fili Hernandez: 18:26

Beyond the Sun

The Henderson Libraries are trying to make a connection between reading and running, but they still don’t recommend doing the two things at the same time.

More than 300 people participated in a Saturday event, called the Read and Run, with some people running a 5K race, others doing a one-mile walk and still others cheering them on outside the James I. Gibson Library on Water Street.

“The main purpose of the event is to promote health in the community as well as reading, granted no one is reading while they are running,” librarian Matthew Hortt, who helped organize the event, said. “It seems like a lot of times in the media we’re hearing about obesity in society, so it’s a good thing to promote health and get people out and active and support the library as well.”

Funds raised from the event go to the library system to purchase health-related materials that will be available at the system’s six branches, Hortt said.

Like other government agencies, the library has been struggling to make ends meet due to the recession. Earlier this week, the system announced it will offer a voluntary severance plan to some employees and reduce all staff members’ pay by 5 percent.

In addition, the libraries’ book and material budget has been reduced by 20 percent in the past year and will go down another 8 percent this summer.

All the budget cuts have made the Read and Run an even more important event now that it is in its third year, Hortt said.

“It’s really important to help build the collection,” he said. “It’s not going to go toward staff time, but it’s important to help provide resources to the community and that’s really what the library is about.”

Approximately 380 people registered for the event, paying between $25 and $35 depending on when they did so. So but some of those people paid even though they didn’t want to run, Hortt said.

“We had quite a few people who registered and said ‘I don’t plan on running, I just want to help support the library,’ ” he said.

For some of those that did show up to race despite the threat of rain, the event was more about exercise than the library, but many were glad that the fee went to a good cause.

“It’s nice to know your money is not just going to the T-shirt,” said Jordan Larsen.

Larsen, a student at Tauro University, participated with his wife, Rachelle, and their 10-month-old son, Beckham, who got to do the 5K in the comfort of a running stroller.

“I made her push the stroller because she’s faster than me, and she still beat me,” Jordan Larsen said with a smile to his wife.

The Larsens participate in races frequently. They said they try to pick the ones that help a charity, but they mostly came for the exercise and the fun, he said.

“It’s a lot more fun to run with everyone else than it is to go out jogging by yourself,” Jordan Larsen said.

Ron Pfeffer, who ran with his wife, Donna, came from Summerlin for the event. They participate in one or two races most months, and have participated in the Read and Run for all three years.

“We just like it and it’s nice to be able to run the same course year to year and compare your times,” Pfeffer said.

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