MINNEAPOLIS — The weather was beautiful for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday and the winners made the most of it.
- Yuya Yoshida was the male winner, with an unofficial time of 2:11:28
- Jessica Watychowicz was the female winner, with an unofficial time of 2:33:09
- Wyatt Willand was the male wheeler winner, with an unofficial time of 1:41:27
Earning a top time or a personal record was far from the only inspiration for the roughly 9,000 runners who took part this year.
KARE11 Reporter Kent Erdahl, and photojournalist Gage Cureton caught up with several along the 26.2-mile route, to find out what kept them going.
"We're running today to bring awareness to the fact that, every 40 seconds, somebody completes suicide, so on the 40th Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, we're running 40 miles. We are supporting TreeHouse, a local organization that exists to end hopelessness among teens."
Grant Evavold (Pushing Madeline Hartung in a wheelchair):
(Grant) "I'm part of a group called My Team Triumph. It's a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for people like Madeline, here, to run marathons. We just give them an opportunity to get out there and slap high fives in the crowd and hear the cheering crowd."
(Madeline) "I have a disability and I like to race, so this is what I'm here to do and that's why I like it so much. They run pretty fast, so I'm happy."
"I'm autistic, I have ADHD and I have non-epileptic seizures. The last two marathons that I attempted, I didn't finish them because I collapsed both times and had seizures, and so to finish this one, it meant everything. I earned this finish line and I'm so proud of myself."
Cheer sections — big and small — also provided the runners plenty of inspiration throughout the course.
NFL Hall of Famer and former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page was back for the 25th year to cheer on runners with his own unique noisemaker: a sousaphone.
He said there isn't any other place he'd won't to be.
"The runners, they're so happy that if they can do what they're doing, I can certainly be out here with this," Page said. "You know, it just doesn't get any better. It's a beautiful day and everybody is happy."
This year, Page decided to help spread that joy by promoting the Diane and Alan Page Community Cheer Challenge, named after his late wife, Diane, who also loved to cheering on the runners every year. The contest encouraged fans to organize cheer zones. Runners will help judge their favorites, with the winners receiving money that will go to their favorite charity.
"It's about community, it's about celebration, it's about the human spirit, it's about being here for Diane."
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