Nearly One Year Later, Las Vegas Marathon Champions Have Not Been Paid By David Monti (c) 2007 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved November 20, 2007
was nearly one year ago when Kenyans Joseph Kahugu and Jemima Jelagat
won their respective divisions of the New Las Vegas Marathon on Dec.
10, yet neither has received their prize money checks, according to the
agents who represent them.
Kahugu is not only due the $15,000
winner's prize, but also a special battle-of-the-sexes bonus of $50,000
for finishing ahead of Jelagat who had a 17 minute and 52 second head
start. Jelagat is due $15,000.
"I have seven e-mails, from
Aug-October indicating that the checks will be mailed shortly 'any
day'," wrote Jelagat's agent Shawn Hellebuyck in an e-mail message to
Race Results Weekly. "They did pay the second place finishers, but not
the winners. I feel bad for coming forward with the story, but as you
know Kenyans are not wealthy and a lot of their extended family depend
Derek Froude of Posso International Promotions, the
firm which represents Kahugu, confirmed via e-mail that his client had
yet to be paid, either.
"There have been a few times in the past
where we were assured payments were going to be made, but the check
never arrived," wrote Froude. "In one of these instances we were
subsequently told that they elected to pay off all Los Angeles 2007
payments ahead of Las Vegas 2006."
The organizer of the New Las
Vegas Marathon, Devine Sports, is also the organizer of the City of Los
Angeles and Salt Lake City Marathons. It took the company over a year
to pay all the prize money from the 2006 City of Los Angeles Marathon
in what Devine chairman, Chris Devine, told the LA Daily News was a
"cash flow crunch."
An independent consultant who represents
Devine to elite athletes and their agents, Larry Barthlow, confirmed in
an e-mail message that the 2007 Los Angeles athletes had been paid, and
he was confident that the debts at Las Vegas would be settled in short
"On behalf of Devine, I think most of the problems are
behind them now," Barthlow wrote. "They are caught up on SLC 2007 and
LA 2007. The outstanding debt with Las Vegas is being completely wiped
out this week. At the beginning of Las Vegas 2007, our books will be
clean and it will be the start of new things for Devine Sports. The
company is committed to the sport. They would like to thank all the
athletes and managers that have been patient with them over the past
While payment periods very from event to event, a delay
of nearly one year is very unusual. Payments are typically made within
90 days, but can be held up if organizers are unable to receive drug
testing results in a timely fashion.
"Neither of us expected it
to drag out quite this long," added Derek Froude. "But, we have not
given up yet either. In fact, Joseph plans to return Las Vegas to
defend his title!"
The 2007 New Las Vegas Marathon is scheduled
for Sunday, Dec. 2. Last year's event recorded 6,021 finishers in the
marathon and 7,184 in the accompanying half-marathon.