SL teens join event
There will be some remarkable runners taking part in the ninth annual Marathon to Marathon on Saturday, June 12 - even if they aren't at the front of the pack.
Three running veterans have signed up to uphold their tradition of having participated in every Marathon held here. They are Douglas Bryner, a 53-year-old from Ames, Jim McKillop, 56, Des Moines, and Jerry Sombke, a ripe 68, from Freeburn, Minn.
Spectators will also want to watch for Randall Hansen, a 57-year-old from Estherville, who has now completed a 26.2-mile marathon in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. The Marathon to Marathon will be his 123rd race. He is known as a
character, usually clad in bright colors with messages about Jesus attached.
At the other end of the spectrum is Tom Sweeney, a Columbia, Missouri man who was born in Storm Lake. He is returning to his hometown to run his very first marathon on the day of his 40th birthday.
So far, about 130 marathon runners are signed up, representing 24 states.
There are some familiar faces behind the scenes too.
Lois Lind returns as the Marathon to Marathon's grand dame. She has promoted the race, the dream of her late husband, since the beginning. Her children and grandchildren are also involved in running the event.
Al Pierce, race director, has also been on board since the first race. An Iowa Track and Field Hall of Famer, his girls teams at Laurens-Marathon won three consecutive state championships and 118 major titles. He now resides at Spencer.
In addition to Lind and Pierce, Jo Ann Behrens of Marathon and Andriette Wickstrom of Storm Lake, a former race winner, have served on the marathon committee since the beginning.
A couple of Storm Lake High School graduates will also be featured at the Marathon opening.
Mike Keller, 2004 state track long jump champion, will be the honorary starter. Jennifer Lickteig will perform the national anthem.
The 26.2 mile marathon and marathon relay begin at 6 a.m. at the Storm Lake High School in Storm Lake.
At 7:30 a.m. the 5K run/walk begins at the Marathon Community Center in Marathon and at 8:15 a.m. the tot trot will begin.
Spectators are encouraged to gather at the Marathon Community Center, where a set of bleachers is provided, and bells will usher in the men's and women's marathon winners. There will be award ceremonies, a lunch of turkey tenderloins and pork burgers available for purchase, on-stage entertainment starting at noon, a Jumpin' Jupiter bounce ride for children and trolley rides to the Marathon Railroad Museum.
Participants can still sign up for the marathon, relay or 5K events. Over 60 are already signed up for the 5K, a relaxed beginner's race where either runners or walkers are welcomed.
Forms are available on-line at www.marathon2marathon.com, at the Storm Lake Chamber of Commerce, CommUnity Education, the Fitness & Health Center and other locations.