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Shooting survivor among those on Strip for Vegas Strong 5K

Updated September 27, 2020 - 2:58 pm

Route 91 Harvest festival shooting survivor Christina Gruber couldn’t believe her pace was 10 minutes, 58 seconds per mile following Sunday morning’s Vegas Strong 5K.

“That’s the number of the angels,” she said with a smile while looking up from her Apple Watch. Initially, 58 people died in the Oct. 1, 2017, shooting on the Strip. This year, a Las Vegas woman became the 60th known victim of the shooting, which left hundreds more injured.

Gruber had 18 pieces of shrapnel in her legs after the shooting. The last piece was removed last year.

Because of coronavirus restrictions, the 5K did not have as many participants as in years past. More than 30 attendees ran and walked to Mandalay Bay from the Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar parking lot. Others were able to participate virtually to remember those who died or were injured.

Gruber ran with a 20-pound vest, representing the emotional weight survivors carry in their hearts and the weight of people first responders had to carry during the shooting.

As the sun started to rise Sunday, Gruber and her friend James Bristow were the first to return to the Lazy Dog.

Bristow was wearing a 30-pound vest.

“I’m here for Christina,” he said, adding she challenged him to wear a heavy vest. “She told me don’t show up without one.”

Eden Capsouto and Jill Ashworth were out running while pushing Capsouto’s two children, Taylor and Erin. The four were able to take photos outside the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign and support Gruber.

“I’m a Las Vegas local, and this is a prime example of how the community connects with each other and comes together during this time,” Capsouto said. “It’s a good time to reflect and remember.”

Contact Alex Chhith at achhith@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0290. Follow @alexchhith on Twitter.

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