Wausau Marathon runners take their marks - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau Marathon runners take their marks

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Hundreds of racers took their mark at the first ever Wausau Marathon. Despite the heat, race leaders are calling the event a success.

When Amanda Murphy stepped up to the start line, she was ready to run.

"I started fast, I was feeling good," Murphy said.

Murphy was just one of almost 300 participants competing in Wausau's first ever marathon. The event featured three races, a full marathon (26.1 miles), a half marathon (13.1 miles) and a 5K race. But for Murphy, it was all 26.1 miles or nothing.

"I have ran in marathons before but it was nice having it be right in my hometown," Murphy said.

But this race was slightly more special than the others. And it wasn't because Murphy was the first woman to cross the finish line.  It was because her family was there to watch her do it.

"That's what got me through the heat," Murphy said. "It was really special to see them here and cheer me on."

Event organizers say runners from 20 different states made their way to Wausau to compete. They say that kind of exposure certainly boosts the local economy.

"With all the events we have had in the Wausau area this summer, this has been the busiest summer we've seen in 10 years," Darien Schaefer, Director of the Sports Authority said.

And, area runners agree.

"Glad it was a hometown one," Matt Radtke said.

Radtke was the first person to cross the finish line in just under three hours. But, he says the best part was doing it so close to home. 

"My whole family was here...that means a lot," Radtke said.

Event leaders say this year is only the beginning of what they hope is an annual tradition.

"We didn't work this hard to make it only one year," Schaefer said. 

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