Friday, Sep 21, 2018
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GLASS CITY MARATHON

Thousands flood Toledo, social media channels for Glass City Marathon

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    Runners speed through Wildwood during The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon on Sunday.

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    Runners make their way down Sylvania Avenue during The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon on Sunday.

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    Cameron Trinh, of Ypsilanti, Mich., finishes sixth overall in the marathon. The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon, which has over 9,000 runners, was held Sunday morning.

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    The half marathon and full marathon start together on Secor Road.

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    Sandy Gardam rings a bell and cheers on runners as they speed through Wildwood during The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon on Sunday.

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    Bethany Denison of Akron carries a 'fat head' for her friend Amy Dorrow, also of Akron, who is running the marathon. "You have to run a full [marathon] to get a 'fat head' says Ms. Denison, who is injured and could not compete.

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    Runners speed through Wildwood during The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon on Sunday.

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    Participants speed through Wildwood during The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon on Sunday.

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    Participants make their way down Sylvania Avenue during The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon on Sunday.

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    Grant Rayfield, left, and Dawn Green try to keep warm before starting The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon on Sunday.

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    Sherri Boggs hands out orange slices at a water stop in Wildwood during The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon on Sunday.

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    Noelle Zeisler, left, her daughter Olivia Zeisler, 17, center, and Emily Pinkava react to the start of the race while waiting in the relay bus to be transported to their exchange points during The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon on Sunday.

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    Runners speed through Wildwood during The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon on Sunday.

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    Wheelers wait for the race to start Sunday morning.

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    Dawn Green keeps warm in a robe before starting The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon on Sunday.

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    Runners speed through Wildwood during The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon on Sunday.

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    A friend prepares to greet Michelle Miller as she begins her half marathon. She lives in Troy, Mich.

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    Runners make their way through a water stop in Wildwood during The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon on Sunday.

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    Mark Cook stretches out on a tree before starting The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon on Sunday. Cook has run in the Glass City Marathon twice and the Boston Marathon thrice.

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    Edwin Letting runs through Wildwood during The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon on Sunday.

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    The half marathon and full marathon start together on Secor Road.

    The Blade/Jetta Fraser
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    Kylie Welling, of Chelsea, Mich., left, makes signs for her husband, Dan, and brother-in-law Steve Welling. Also making signs is daughter Aurora, 10, and son Hudson.

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    Candi Graciani of Toledo, left, and Kuan Sturgill, of Cincinnati stretch before running in the half-marathon.

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    Wheelers prepare to start the marathon Sunday morning.

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    Shawn Kiley pins the racing bib on his wife, Chelsea Kiley as she prepares to run the half marathon. He was set to run the full marathon. They live in Jackson, Mich.

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    The half marathon and full marathon start together on Secor Road.

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  • CTY-marathon22-14

    Runners at the end of the pack crossing the starting line.

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    Kane Cilley, left, and Jennifer Deiners, both of Toledo, and Trey Higley of Bowling Green, pick up clothes left around the starting area. Clothes unclaimed after the race will be donated to Goodwill Industries.

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    Just outside of the Glass Bowl looking toward the finish line from the chute.

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    The finish line in the Glass Bowl at the University of Toledo.

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    Samantha Bluske of Toledo runs along Door Street in the half marathon.

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    Lauren Niese, left, Amanda Schroeder, Breann Niese, Lauren's sister, and Catie Hermiller, all from Miller City, Ohio stretch after running in the half marathon.

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    Runners zip along the University Parks Trail as it travels through the University of Toledo's main campus.

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    Bagged clothes from the finish line are brought to the runners outside of the Glass Bowl by Goodwill Industries volunteers. Runners can retrieve their clothes or donate them.

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  • CTY-marathon22-28

    Cameron Jones, 5, and his mom Michelle Jones of Perrysburg offer water and Gatorade to runners. They were part of the Family House water stop, the largest water stop on the race route, is on the main campus of the University of Toledo.

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    Daisy, 5, an English Bulldog, and Kris McWilliams, of Kalamazoo, Mich., wait in the Glass Bowl for Pam McWilliams, who ran the marathon.

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Joe Niemiec crossed the finish line in the Glass Bowl on Sunday and started screaming, releasing the adrenaline that came from finishing a half marathon faster than he ever had before. He shaved 5 minutes off his previous fastest time, finishing fourth in the Owens Corning Half Marathon. 

“I don’t get excited that much and just seeing that big of a [personal record], I just couldn’t keep it in,” Mr. Niemiec, 26, of Jackson, Mich., said. 

He was one of more than 9,000 runners to start a race over Saturday and Sunday at the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon, though Mr. Niemiec’s chances of starting the race looked shaky in the last week. He pulled his hamstring late in training and battled some sort of stomach bug through the night. 

MARATHON COVERAGE: This year’s winners | Columnist David Briggs bikes behind marathon winner I Yes, a man really did run a marathon in firefighting gear | This marathon is one of three races in 13 days for some local runners 

He credited God for getting him through the race and was running to continue his Olympic dreams. He needs to run a 2:13 marathon to make it to the marathon trials, and his 1:06 half marathon was a good start. 

“It doesn’t stop after college. You can still chase dreams,” he said. “It’s not good enough to go to the trials, but it’s trending down.”

Racers came to the race for all sorts of reasons. Elite athletes such as Mr. Niemiec came looking for a flat, fast course to set personal records. Some, like Karil Morrissey, 60, of Toledo, run for the challenge of getting better and training with other people.

“What’s fun is running with a lot of the people that I train with for the past 16 weeks and challenging yourself to do something different and better every time,” she said. “I just wanted to do better than last year, and I did.” 

MORE READING: One week, two marathons for some locals | Two guys are trying to break a world record in an ice cream costume | Woman who’s lost 125 pounds is running a half marathon

She was enjoying a refreshing post-race beer, along with most of the racers who wandered over from the Glass Bowl finish line toward the beer and food available after the race. 

It’s too soon to say with certainty if this year’s event, the largest in the marathon’s 42-run history, went off perfectly, but executive committee member Todd Germana said things had gone well. 

“So far, perfect weather, good conditions, good crowd,” he said. 

Spectators lined parts of the course, especially at the finish chute within the football stadium. As the day progressed, finished runners added to the crowds, shouting encouragement and ringing bells as others finished. Watching the race can give spectators much of the energy and emotion that comes from the race, said Jasmin Niemiec, Mr. Niemiec’s wife. 

“To see it come together for him, it’s the most beautiful thing. I feel all the joy, the pain. It’s the best feeling in the world,” she said. 

Aaron Cooper of Camlachie, Canada, won the marathon, setting a new course record of 2:20:58. Maura Lemon of Dayton ran the fastest time as a female, setting a course record at 2:45:37. 

The Blade sent three reporters and two photographers to Sunday’s marathon. Take a look at the good, the bad, and the downright goofy from the race below:

THE GOOD...

THE BAD...

Contact Zack Lemon at zlemon@theblade.com419-724-6282, or on Twitter @zack_lemon.

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