Runners took their mark Sunday at the 11th annual, Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon.
Don Kern, Race Director, wished everyone had a chance to see the race.
“If you want to see the most inspirational thing you’ll ever see, come here to the finish line and watch people come across the finish line,” said Kern. You will see people screaming, crying, laughing and just celebrating the accomplishments that happen here.”
Many runners use the race as an opportunity to qualify for the Boston Marathon, others are just happy to be in the race.
“I paid the registration fee and I got new pants, so I’m ready to run the race,” said half-marathon runner, Natalie Treat.
Kern believes this race would not be possible without the passion each runner brings to the race.
“These are great people out here helping us,” said Kern. “This is a race here put on by runners for runners.”
Energy was high at the starting line where friends and family cheered each other on.
There was something for everyone, including a beer garden and chili cookout for the runners, sport vendors and even a runner’s expo held at the David D. Hunting YMCA until 6 p.m.
“This is the greatest place in the world right here,” said Kern
Kern believes it’s the charities and sponsors that help the event grow each year. And Michael Chitwood, National Director of Team World Vision, said the race does the same thing for his charity.
“So we’ve got our 200 runners here at the Marathon and they’ve raised $130, 000,” said Chitwood. “That money will provide clean water for life to 2,600 people.
For an in-depth look at the marathon leader board, click this link: http://bit.ly/1rSYKch