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Jock Talk: Sin City Classic still fun, despite legal dispute

by Roger Brigham

The legal dispute over ownership of the Sin City Classic LGBT multi-sport festival does not appear to have cast a major pall over the event held during Martin Luther King Jr. weekend in Las Vegas.

No, the wristbands weren't good for a 20 percent restaurant discount the way they were in the past. Yes, it was a bit hard for some to get the daytime "gay vibe" of past festivals, back when a smaller host hotel meant a more concentrated "critical" mass of athletes. And yeah, the logistics for some sports were a bit more difficult.

But the meet-and-greets were as joyous as ever as athletes from across the country reconnected, and the parties were lively.

Private mediation in the Greater Los Angeles Softball Association's federal court case against former event director Eric Ryan was initially supposed to have been completed by December 18, but the parties requested and received a court-ordered extension to January 31. A joint report on the mediation is to be filed by February 9.

"Sin City Classic was fun," local runner Reggie Snowden told the Bay Area Reporter. "This year I attended the registration event on Thursday evening to kick it off at the Linq Hotel and there was great energy. I helped distribute race packets and met a lot of runners and participants of other sporting events. Dodgeball was on one side of us and flag football was on the other. This was one of my favorite parts of the event because we saw all other sports in attendance under one roof."

Snowden, 52, said the event is a great start for the season for local runners planning to run later in the Pride Track and Field Meet in San Francisco in early summer and then the Gay Games in Paris in August.

"As for the LGBT running calendar, this event is perfect timing to start the year," said Snowden, who competed in the road races in Vegas. "Personally, I won't be on the track until March and will continue with another 5K for the Kaiser Permanente on February 4 before transitioning to the track. I cannot train on the track more than five months in a row as I've gotten older and I need to protect my knees and hips. Training with FrontRunners gives me the endurance I need to get through multiple events on the track."

Snowden may not be competing on track right now, but he plans on a solid slate of events at the Gay Games.

"I will plan on doing the 100-meter hurdles, 400-meter intermediate hurdles, long jump, and triple jump," he said. "As for relays, I will also compete on the 4x100 relay and possibly the 4x400. This is why I will continue building and maintaining my endurance by training with FrontRunners to establish a strong foundation to get through the year."

San Francisco FrontRunner top age-group finishers in the Sin City road races included winners Colin Gallagher, Bob Calliori, and Snowden in the 5-kilometer; Michael Hipolito first in the 10K; Mike DeLeon second in the 10K; and Hipolito, second in the 5K.

Snowden said the Sin City highlights for him were the opening party, helping out with the 10K race, and closing party.

"The opening evening where participants for all of the events were together in the ballroom was pretty exciting," he said. "I met athletes I haven't met before from other sports such as dodgeball and flag football, watching the wrestlers was awesome, and most of all passing out goodie bags to the runners and meeting them also was a thrill."

For information on SF FrontRunners, visit http://www.sffr.org/. For registration for the Gay Games in Paris, visit http://www.paris2018.com.

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