MARQUETTE â?? The 4th annual Marquette Marathon kicked off at 7:30 a.m. as runners tried to qualify for the 2014 Boston Marathon.
Around 770 runners from all over the United States, ages ranging from 13 to 82 years old, participated in the marathon, half marathon and relay races. The races started at Presque Isle Park.
The course included several scenic stops for runners, including: the iron ore docks, Presque Isle, the Marquette Lighthouse and the Lake Superior shoreline.
Jon Rock, a high school cross country coach from Macomb, Mich., blew past the competition. He finished the full marathon in 2:29:04, 15 minutes faster than last yearâ??s winner Matthew Paullin. Rockâ??s finish set a new course record, but whatâ??s more impressive is that this is his first ever marathon.
â??The final miles were very difficult for me,â?? Rock said. â??Iâ??m used to training for 5Ks and 10Ks so I havenâ??t run over 13 or 14 miles in quite some timeâ?| I wasnâ??t too confident going in that Iâ??d be able to break [two hours and 30 minutes] but obviously God had great plans for me and He blessed me with great fortune so I could finish the race strong.â??
The first female finisher was 2010 female marathon winner, Elizabeth Jones from Marquette. Jones finished in a time of 3:05:56. In 2010, she set a course record of 3:01:52.
â??I caught up with some guys from out of town the first lap and we were just staying real steady,â?? Jones said. â??The second lap I needed to pull back the reigns a little just to ease up so I could finish strong. I think I picked it up the last three miles so that makes me happy.â??
Over in the half marathon, Marquetteâ??s Tracy Lokken repeated as the half marathon champion in a time of 1:10:12. For the women, Alison Goss from Traverse City also repeated as the fastest woman to finish in 1:28:47.
Ginger Kivisto from Ironwood completed the half marathon on her 60th birthday.
"I wanted to do something special,â?? Kivisto said. â??My kids went to school here, we love Marquette. When I looked around for a race, I found it on my birthday, and here I am.â??
Kivisto finished the race at 2:07:32.
There were also several other memorable moments at the finish line. A soldier carrying an American flag the whole distance finished the half marathon, a father carried his daughter across the finish line, and a runner even proposed to his girlfriend after the race.
Proceeds from the marathon will be donated to Marquette Senior High Schoolâ??s Friends of Football.