LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas is heading into a weekend featuring the 50th running of a marathon that evolved from a flat, wind-swept desert event in 1967 to a glitzy neon-lit attraction for tens of thousands of participants on the casino-lined Strip.

Event spokesman Dan Cruz said Thursday that more than 45,000 runners from every U.S. state and 83 foreign countries are registered for the Sunday evening Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half-Marathon.

Judy Ikenberry, the winner of the inaugural Las Vegas Marathon in 1967, heads a list of past winners, U.S. Olympians and charity partners in town for a Thursday event kick-off. It’s sponsored this year by GEICO.

Runners dressed as Elvis and run-through weddings add to the spectacle featuring live music, cheer teams and spectators along the 26-mile course.


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