Thousands of runners and fans flock the streets for Prairie Fire Marathon

A runner races in the Prairie Fire Marathon Sunday. (Photo courtesy KSN News)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – More than 2,800 runners laced up their running shoes and hit the pavement for the Prairie Fire Marathon Sunday.

The race kicked off at 7:30 a.m. on Wichita streets near the Maple Street Bridge. The race wound through the downtown area and along the scenic Arkansas River.

Thousands of fans also lined up near the finish line to cheer the runner on to the end.

For some, running a marathon is more than a passion, it’s a way of life.

“You have to start off slow, and just build and be able to work through blisters, cramps, and everything else like that,” said Diane Gerlach, a runner in the Prairie Fire Marathon.

“It’s so much fun to be around all these people,” said Craig Owens, marathon runner. “The feeling that you get when you start out on the race, all these people going down Douglas, that’s a wonderful thing.”

Several of Sunday’s runners qualified to run in the State of Kansas Championship Marathon as well as the Boston Marathon.

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