Dec 01 2020
Caleb Brubaker | The Salem News
Despite the rain Nov. 21, more than 508 people from 24 states participated in the fifth annual Honoring Our Heroes Marathon. It is the largest number the race has seen, according to race director Shawn Bolerjack.
"We had a total of 362 runners cross the finish line, which included 92 finishers for the Marathon distance, 119 finishers for the Half Marathon, 10 Marathon Relay teams (four participants per team), 34 finishers for the 10K and 77 finishers for the 5K distance," Bolerjack said.
The 2019 marathon raised $21,000. Bolerjack said that while the final numbers are still being tabulated, he expects this year's numbers to be just as good if not better.
The first $1,000 raised goes to the Hershel Woody Williams Foundation to honor Gold Star Families. The rest of the proceeds will be divided up in fourths to support American Legion Post 99's Dent County Veterans Emergency Fund, Mid-Missouri Chapter of the AUSA's Warrior in Need Fund (Fort Leonard Wood), VFW Post 6280 (Salem) & VFW Post 2025 (Rolla) Poppy Funds and VFW Post 4238 (Dixon) Poppy Fund.
Bolerjack said that he was happy that they were able to provide an in-person race despite having to take extra precautions amid COVID-19 concerns, since the majority of races across the country have been cancelled or switched to a virtual experience.
"Many have been training for weeks and months preparing for the race to later find out their in-person race was cancelled," Bolerjack said. "We're proud to be able to give runners the opportunity to accomplish their fitness goals while honoring our veterans, active military and fallen heroes."
Bolerjack wanted to express his thankfulness to the people and sponsors who helped make this happen.
"Big thank you to Big River Race Management for providing us an advanced timing system and to helping us make adjustments to our race to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience," Bolerjack said. "We would like to say a huge thank you to all of our dedicated volunteers who have spent hours out in the cold and rain to make sure our runners stayed hydrated and safe. Thank you to our local law enforcement, first responders, government officials, neighbors and the Rolla/Salem communities for your support of this wonderful event and helped our participants feel safe and encouraged them while on the course."
Bolerjack was also thankful for the people driving on Highway 72, many of whom honked and waved to cheer runners on. "The runners loved that," Bolerjack said.
According to Bolerjack, their sights are already set on next year's marathon.
"We look forward to welcoming a new field of runners in 2021 as we continue changing lives and honoring those who have given us our precious freedom," he said.
To learn more about the marathon, or to donate to the marathon's cause you can visit the Honoring Our Heroes Marathon website https://www.heroesmarathon.com where you can also find the full results of the race or visit them on Facebook. To get the full results and roster for the race, visit https://www.athlinks.com/event/187529/results/Event/942377/Results.