Matt Sanders of Premier Rides (above) won this morning's Give Kids The World 5K Fun Run at Pecos Legacy Park in Henderson, Nevade, in a time of 16 minutes, 34 seconds.
About 50 participants came out for the third annual event to benefit the Kissimmee, Florida, charity that grants Wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses. Organizers were pleased with the turnout, especially considering this is IAAPA Attractions Expo's first time in Las Vegas and early-bird start time is when some people in this town are just going to bed.
"Some of them maybe didn't even go to bed—in Vegas, you never know," joked GKTW President Pamela Landwirth as the runners took off down the course. "We didn't know what to expect in Las Vegas, but I think it shows what a wonderful community IAAPA is. They're caring and they love to support the Village."
"I wanted to do something good for IAAPA, Give Kids The World, and my company," Sanders said after the race. "It was a little tough and tiring, especially since I flew in yesterday from Maryland, but it was a good time."
As IAAPA Attractions Expo returns to Orlando in 2010, so, too, does the 5K—and next year may see a special twist to this event. Two weeks ago GKTW, taking a cue from the Expo race, held its first 5K through the Village itself and drew a tremendous crowd of 350 runners. Landwirth is hopeful next year's Expo race will follow that same course.
"It was a fabulous event," Landwirth said. "Most of our runners came from our theme park friends. We're going to do it again next year, ,and the thought is to do this one there, too. It's like running through heaven."