SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Local runners are lacing up their shoes for Sunday’s Sioux Falls Marathon.
1,800 runners are preparing to hit the pavement for the Sioux Falls Marathon.
“Passion is out there, the people have been training all summer long,” Sioux Falls Sports Authority Executive Director Thomas Lee said.
More than 300 competitors will run the full 26.2 miles, a race that didn’t happen last summer due to COVID-19.
“In 2020, we still offered a truncated half-marathon and we capped that at 600 runners so the fact that this year we’re able to put on all four races, grow that number up to 1,800, given the circumstances we’re still in, we’re thrilled with that and excited to give the runners a real race to run on Sunday,” Lee said.
Lee says an event of this size depends on volunteers.
“The water stops, the bag drop area, the start/finish line, the people who hand out the medals, the people at the Expo helping us out, so without them there would be no race,” Lee said.
Eva Gut is President of the Sioux Falls Area Running Club and one of 400 marathon volunteers. She works in the bag drop area.
“Runners, before they start running, come and drop off water bottles, phones, jackets, whatever things they had with them that they might want after the race,” Sioux Falls Area Running Club President Eva Gut said.
The support of spectators goes a long way in helping a runner cross the finish line. There are multiple viewing areas, including here at 6th and Phillips in downtown Sioux Falls.
“Come mile ten, 12, maybe mile two, people are going to need that boost and it’s fun for the runners to get that boost somewhere along the route and you can do that downtown, Falls Park, Cherry Rock Park, Yankton Trail Park, even Howard Wood Field at the start/finish,” Lee said.
“Near the end of the marathon where you’re feeling tired, you know you only have a few more miles to go, it’s awesome to see familiar faces cheering you on, people calling your name. Thomas has done a great job getting more and more people out there cheering the runners on,” Gut said.
The Sioux Falls Marathon is a qualifying race for next year’s Boston Marathon.
Click HERE for complete details on the 2021 Sioux Falls Marathon.