SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Thousands traveled to Springfield this weekend to participate in and celebrate the 11th annual Bass Pro Shops Expo and Marathon Weekend.
The weekend-long event included “races for every fitness level” and over 50 vendors, according to a Bass Pro Shops press release.
The health an wellness expo ran through Friday and Saturday. The races began on Sunday.
“Today was the marathon, the half marathon, and the 5K run,” said Martin MacDonald of Bass Pro Shops on Sunday. “ We’ve got 3,500 runners from 40 different states running today and it’s a celebration of health, wellness and fitness, and it’s an opportunity to have something happen with the community where everybody kind of rallies together.”
The races began and ended at the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World location at the intersection of Sunshine and Campbell. The press release said participants ranged in ages from 8 to 92.
“Oh, yeah,” said one participant. “Totally worth it. Yeah, well, it feels good to be up and around.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks coordinated to have more than 1,000 Springfield area volunteers help the event run smoothly.
The Neighborhood Challenged returned this year to feature 10 neighborhood associations to cheer on the runners and provide water and nutrition during the event.
“It went really well,” said another participant with his daughter. “Girls On The Run is always a fun event to do. Gotta support my little one here.”
“And how did you do?” asked Tim Leimkuhler, a photographer. “Did you have fun?”
“Yeah,” said the participant’s daughter.
Results of the races listed the top 10 finishers of each race. Top finishers of each gender of the Bass Pro Shops Conservation Marathon were Kim Reed, 29, of Springfield with a finishing time of 2 hours, 52 minutes and 44 seconds and Shawn Etzenhouser, 29, of Gladstone with a finishing time of 2 hours, 40 minutes and 16 seconds.
The top female finisher of the Cohick Half Marathon was Sara Ibbetson, 37, of Ozark, with a finishing time of 1 hour, 23 minutes and 54 seconds. The top male finisher of the half marathon was Derek Lee, 26, of Springfield, with a finishing time of 1 hour, 17 minutes and 20 seconds.
The top female finisher of the News-Leader 5K was Jacquelyn Griffin, 31, of Ozark, with a finishing time of 19 minutes and 50 seconds. The top male finisher was T. Jay Sanderson, 34, of Bolivar, with a finishing time of 15 minutes and 54 seconds.
86 teams participated in the Mercy Sunshine Marathon Relay race, but results of the race were not available.
“It’s absolutely exciting to watch everyone finish because something like the marathon trainers training for six months or so or even longer than that so it’s just a celebration of wellness and fitness and everybody having a good time,” MacDonald said.