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Quad Cities Marathon returns for 24th annual race

24th Annual Quad Cities Marathon
24th Annual Quad Cities Marathon(KWQC)
Published: Sep. 26, 2021 at 4:40 PM CDT
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MOLINE, Illinois (KWQC) - The Quad Cities Marathon is back, and a crisp September morning welcomed almost 4,000 runners to the course.

After a year off due to the pandemic, everyone is excited to be back.

“I just like to be at the finish line and welcome everybody to the finish,” said Joe Moreno, the race director. “Just the feeling of accomplishment they have, whether it’s the 5k or the half marathon, or the full marathon. It’s a great feeling.”

Some runners were feeling especially accomplished after the race. Tyler Pence, of Springfield, Illinois, took first place in the men’s marathon. This was his first time running the full course.

“I actually did the half here, like six years ago, right out of college,” said Pence. “I didn’t race well, so this is my redemption tour.”

First place in the women’s marathon was Hirut Guangul, from Ethiopia. This was her sixth time as champion of the race.

“This is my favorite,” she said. “The course setting time is to my name, it’s mine, so I want to keep it. I’m sure, I didn’t die, I’m coming back next year. I’m sure.”

She’s not the only runner who travels to the Quad Cities year after year. Moreno estimates that around 40 percent of the racers come from out of town for another run along the riverside.

“We have the Midwest charm here in the Quad Cities,” said Moreno. “That’s what the out of towners say, that’s the first thing they say. They love the river, and they love the hospitality.”

Next year, runners will get a different view of the river. As the race celebrates its 25th anniversary, and an update route along the new I-74 bridge. But nothing will change about the hospitality.

“We have people that have run this race all 24 year, every one, and that says something,” said Moreno. “And they’re from out of town, so it’s a beautiful thing to see them coming back every year.”

You can find more information on next year’s race and celebration, as well as results and times for everyone who ran this year’s race at qcmarathon.org.

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