#whyirun: The stories of five runners of the Twin Cities Marathon

KARE 11 photojournalist Ben Garvin captures marathoners passion in "Why I Run"

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – More than 30,000 runners will run the Twin Cities this weekend as part of the Twin Cities Marathon Weekend. The marathon is the premier event.

Photojournalist Ben Garvin talked to five people who are running the marathon. Each has his or her own reason for running 26.2 miles.

RELATED: 100 amazing ways to cross the finish line

Bob Gavin, 76
Marine on St Croix.

Gavin ran his first marathon in 2001 at the age of 61. He’s run every Twin Cities marathon since. Sunday’s marathon will be his 16th. Gavin has qualified and run in five Boston marathons.

“I decided to run a marathon in 2001 to see if I could qualify for the Boston Marathon.  My mother was born and raised in Boston and as a young boy living in Minneapolis I can remember her talking about the Boston Marathon and describing it as ‘a bunch of crazy men running around in their underwear to win a prize’.  In her memory, I wanted to see if I could be one of those crazy guys. It took 9 times in the TCM but I finally got my time down to qualify for Boston in the 2009 TCM, then 4 more times.”

Gavin was the president of Macalester college from 1984 to 1996.

Stacy VanCura, 45
Briana VanCura, 14


When 14-year-old Briana VanCura lines up at the start of Sunday’s marathon, she’ll have her biggest supporter by her side. Her mother, Stacy VanCura, has trained with her all summer. This will be Stacy’s ninth marathon. Last year, she qualified for Boston.

“I am 45 years old and my reason for running is for the joy it brings in literally all areas of life from my family life, getting to run with my children, run with friends to starting my day with the enjoyment of watching the sun rise in the morning”

Danae Rodriguez, 22

Danae Rodriguez says she used to run for fun, every now and then, but now she runs for a purpose.

“Now I find myself running because I know too many people who wish they could but can't. Having grown up with both parents disabled, and having a friend unexpectedly bound to a wheelchair in the last year, the possibility that one day I might never be able to use my body like this again is motivating to do something while I can. I decided to run a marathon, not just for fun, but because I can, and the opportunity may never come again.”

Guillermo Olivos, 33
St. Paul

Guillermo Olivos says running is a spiritual experience and he enjoys every single mile.

“I moved to Minnesota from Seattle for treatment for drug and alcohol addiction in June 2014. I was in treatment for three months at Hazelden and I started running every other day on the grounds to get outside of myself and build back my physical health. It became a big part of my meditative practice there and then after when I moved permanently to St. Paul for access to the strong sober community here. I kept extending my runs from three to five to seven miles into 2015, looping amongst the Franklin, Lake, and Ford bridges along the Mississippi River. In 2015, I did my first-ever half marathon, followed by my first-ever Ragnar Relay, and finally completed my first-ever marathon, last year's TCM, with a time of 3:46.”

Tatenda Mupfudze, 32

Tatenda Mupfudze says she runs to remind herself of the resilience of the human spirit.

“I'm originally from Zimbabwe and this is my fourth marathon, I have done DC Rock and Roll, Baltimore and Dallas. Twin Cities has been on my bucket list since I was at St. Kate's and I'm excited to finally be running it!”

You can watch the finish line on kare11.com and streaming on KARE 11's Facebook page on Sunday October 9.



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