The city of Mankato held their first marathon this past Saturday and Dale, Beth and I were volunteers at the Ridley Inc. water stop. 2000 runners signed up for the events which consisted of the marathon, ½ marathon, relay marathon and 10K. All indications are the weekend was a success.

The fun started for us on Friday night, when Beth ran the KidsK. It was a nice race and other than a few small toddlers taking a spill, seemed to go quite well. Afterwards we attended the Scheel’s Health Expo and the highlight was listening to Dick Beardsley speak. Dick shared stories about his various running experiences, which certainly are motivational. Adam was captivated while Dick spoke and a highlight for him was getting an autographed picture.

Dick ran cross country at the University of MN, Waseca, back when it was a 2 year college. I also ran CC at UMW about 5 years after Dick. It was fun to share a few memories and a few laughs about our coach and the school, now a federal prison.

Saturday morning we were at our water stop by 7:15 to help set up with the rest of the Ridley group. We eagerly waited for the runners and as we caught a glimpse of them approaching, we ran to our spots. I passed out water. Dale had instructed me to place the cup on the palm of my hand, since it would be easier for the runners to grab. He was right.

Things got busy and then before we knew it, we were told the last runner was approaching. We cleaned up the tables, raked up the tossed cups and took down the decorations as our job was done. When Dale and I dropped off the extra supplies downtown near the finish line, there were joyous sights and sounds as runners filtered through the crowd after finishing. Looks like Mankato’s first Marathon was a success.

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