Marathon Brings New and Old Runners to Columbia
COLUMBIA - In the 51st year of the Heart of America Marathon, a first time marathon runner took second place Monday morning. Despite the holiday weekend, distance runners took no time off. Most of them have been training for months.
Second place finalist Kevin Lambert said he's been running for the past ten years in both high school and college. "I've been training for this for the past three months," he said.
His goal was to make it in under three hours, which he made, just barely. "The worst part was the last ten kilometers," he said.
He said the first ten miles were the easiest. "We were just talking and running, it was like any other run," he said.
Finishing this marathon is making Lambert seriously consider taking on the Kansas City Marathon on October 16. "We'll see if I show up," he said.
Another marathon fan stood by watching the finalists cross the finish line. Joe Schroeder was the first winner of the Heart of America Marathon when it began in 1960. He said it started as a competition between the track and boxing clubs on the University of Missouri campus. "The boxers didn't show up, so two track members won," Schroeder said.
The race gained popularity and is now known across the country, with runners from as far as New Jersey and Colorado running in Monday's race. There were more than 260 participants signed up for the marathon.