SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — This weekend brought nice weather for soccer as well as running. Rather than entirely cancel the Sioux Falls Marathon, Sioux Falls Sports Authority decided to modify the race for the runners competing today during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This morning’s race started off like you might expect.
“It was wonderful to line up at the start line. Hear the national anthem, the gun go off, have people around you racing,” women’s marathon winner Amy Feit said.
But it was much different this year.
“We had to cancel the full marathon, the 10K and the 5K. We capped this race, the half marathon, at 600 runners,” Sioux Falls Sports Authority Executive Director Thomas Lee said.
Along with a limited number of entrants, there was a staggered start for runners, and contact-less water stations were in place, too.
“I think they did a wonderful job keeping the runners safe and doing a great job executing this race,” Feit said.
“And really, them limiting the number of runners didn’t really feel like any sort of confined space or anything like that to feel unsafe,” Sioux Falls Runner Dale Weiler said.
Most entrants were from the Midwest, but men’s marathon winner Adam Cortez came from Louisiana.
“So obviously with all the coronavirus precautions, it’s been tough to find a race, and believe it or not, this was actually the closest one I could find,” Men’s Marathon Winner Adam Cortez said.
Opting for a live race over a virtual competition was a major goal for Sioux Falls Sports Authority.
“To give the runners some sense of normalcy, and something to look forward to all summer, we’re proud to be a part of that,” Lee said.
“It’s just pretty incredible to be competing. To be out here, and to be able to run with other people, it was awesome,” Cortez said.
Men’s winner Adam Cortez finished the half-marathon 1:11:56. Amy Feit took home the women’s title, crossing the finish line in 1:27:09.