MOLINE, Ill. — Runners took to the roadways and bridges Sunday morning in the annual Quad Cities Marathon. This is the 24th year of the marathon, and organizers are happy to see it back after the pandemic forced them to hold the event virtually in 2020.
"This feels very normal," said race director Joe Moreno. "Everybody's having a good time."
Close to 4,000 participants ran in the different marathon, half-marathon and 5K races. Moreno said this number was down slightly from 2019.
He added that the event draws a crowd of runners from outside of the QC Area. Roughly 40% of the runners are not local.
"We are very good for the local tourism for the economy," Moreno said. "We're very hospitable. We have the Midwest charm here in the Quad Cities. That's what the out-of-towners say. That's the first thing they say. They love the river."
The marathon route crosses over four cities, three bridges, two states and one island.
"I've done about a dozen half-marathons, and they're always really fun," said half-marathon runner Rachael Ash. "I always love doing the Quad City, though. It's such a great course."
This is the last year runners will cross over the old I-74 bridge. Next year for the 25th anniversary, they'll cross on the new bridge.
Tyler Pence from Springfield, Illinois won the men's marathon, with a time of 2:15:06, just shy of course record 2:14:04. However, it was his personal record and the third fastest time in the race's history. Pence is the first American to win the men's race since 2001.
Hirut Guangul from Ethiopia won the women's marathon with a time of 2:40:54. This was her sixth time winning the Quad Cities Marathon, also winning in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2019.
David Too from Des Moines was the won the men's half-marathon, finishing with a time of 1:06:07. Marie O'Leary from St. Louis, Missouri won the women's half-marathon with a time of 1:20:23, beating the runner-up by two seconds.
Click here to view the full results.
Throughout the event, Moreno stood at the finishing line high-fiving runners as they crossed.
"I just like to be at the finish line and welcome everybody to the finish," he said. "Just the feeling of accomplishment that they have, when they cross the finish, whether it's the 5K, or the half-marathon, or the relay or the the full marathon. It's a great feeling."