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Runner dressed as Elvis Presley wins Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — A 42-year-old runner dressed as Elvis won the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on Sunday night, setting a record for the fastest marathon run by someone dressed as “The King.”

Michael Wardian of Arlington, Virginia, finished in 2 hours, 38 minutes and 4 seconds late Sunday – a feat he accomplished while wearing a black wig in an Elvis-style pompadour, gold sunglasses and a white Elvis jumpsuit with gold sequins.

“I wasn’t sure how the suit would be, but the suit was actually pretty awesome,” Wardian said. “You get this sucker wet, it just stays cool.”

With his finish, Wardian broke a Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon run by someone dressed as Elvis.

The previous record was set by his friend Ian Sharman in 2009. Sharman completed a Seattle marathon while dressed as Elvis in 2 hours, 42 minutes and 52 seconds.

Wardian told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he felt like he was in good shape halfway through and then had some fatigue. He took the lead around mile 22 or 23.

“With two miles to go I was pretty confident,” Wardian said. “And then I was just trying to run to win and then also to make sure I got the record.”

A number of other runners dressed as Elvis and other characters, including Spider-Man, dinosaurs and Forrest Gump.

It was the 50th running of a race that evolved from a flat, wind-swept desert event in 1967 to a glitzy and music-filled attraction for tens of thousands of participants.

Organizers said more than 45,000 runners from every U.S. state and 83 foreign countries registered for this year’s evening marathon and half-marathon on the neon-lit Las Vegas Strip.

Chelsey Leighton of Lewiston, Idaho, won the women’s marathon in 3:12:11.

William Kibor and Elvin Kibet, both of Kenya, won the men’s and women’s half-marathons.

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USA Hockey to start reaching out to potential replacement players

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USA Hockey will begin reaching out to “alternate players” to determine their interest in playing for the U.S. at the women’s world championship next week amid a potential boycott by its national team.

The contact is taking place in the event a resolution cannot be reached between USA Hockey and the women’s national team in a wage dispute.

“It’s important for everyone to understand clearly that our objective is to have the players we named as the U.S. women’s national team be the ones that compete in the world championship,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, in a statement. “Productive conversations have taken place this week and are ongoing in our collective efforts to reach a resolution.”

The alternate players are in the professional NWHL and college, according to USA Today, a report that USA Hockey would not confirm.

U.S. captain Meghan Duggan has said every player in the U.S. national team player pool, plus under-18 national team players, committed to not playing at worlds unless the wage dispute is resolved.

“We are confident that they [potential replacement players] would choose not to play,” the U.S. players said in a statement.

The world championship tournament starts March 31 in Plymouth, Mich.

As of Thursday evening, no resolution has come between USA Hockey and its women’s national team. They met formally on Monday for more than 10 hours, with both sides calling it productive.

“We ask that they approve the original agreement that, the players believed, was acceptable to both parties after Monday’s meeting,” the players said in a statement. “Unless there is an agreement, the players remain resolved to bypass the defense of the world championship.”

Neither side has said when the next meeting will take place.

On Tuesday, USA Hockey said it postponed a pre-worlds camp that was to run through next Tuesday in Traverse City, Mich., and canceled a scheduled Friday exhibition against Finland.

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NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

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International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel tells The Associated Press he needs to know by the end of April whether NHL players will be cleared to play in the South Korea Olympics next year.

NHL team owners have made it clear they don’t want to stop their season again for the Winter Games and put their stars at risk of injury. The reluctance has come up before and yet the NHL has participated in the Olympics since 1998. This time, however, there seems to be an impasse.

The head of the NHL Players Association, Donald Fehr, says the players want to participate and hopes the league will take advantage of the chance to market the game in Asia.

However, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says without “material change to the current status quo, NHL players will not be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics.”

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MORE: 2018 Olympic hockey groups set