Runners from across the country, and across the world, gathered in Salina Saturday morning to participate in the largest event of its kind in Kansas. Over 3,600 runners from all 50 states, Botswana, Canada, Mexico, and Columbia, South America, combined with over 200 volunteers to make the second annual Salina Crossroads Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K / 5K Family Fun Run/Walk, and Team Relays a big success.
The event kicked off with a rousing acapella performance of the National Anthem. The races got underway at 8:00. The temperature was 45 degrees at the start.
The race began with runners headed north on Santa Fe, running underneath a giant American flag displayed by the Salina Fire Department. The runners were lead by the official Oldsmobile pace car of the 1974 Indianapolis 500, compliments of the the Garage Automobile museum.
The community came out and cheered on runners at the start and finish, as well as at multiple points along the course.
Volunteers helped at registration, handed out water, Gatorade, nutrition at aid stations, and served as course monitors. Citizens also gathered along the course, holding signs and offering words of encouragement to the runners.
Nate Guthals of Olathe won the men’s marathon, while Brittany White-Dold of Wichita won the women’s marathon. The half-marathon winner was Bryce Merriman of Wichita and Mandy Zimmerman of Junction City won the women’s half-marathon.
(CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE)