FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- Runners from 37 states and 6 different countries, can now say they took part in the first ever Fort Myers Beach Marathon! WINK News was a proud sponsor of the race. Our very own, Hayley Hinds, kicked off the race singing the National Anthem, before 1,500 brave men and women hit the pavement.
It takes heart and soul to dedicate yourself to running miles in a marathon, but for these runners, the miles didn't matter.
"I had fun, running with friends, and at the turn around point, I just wanted to get back as fast as I could," said runner Richard Olitsky.
Father and son duo, Richard and Brian Olitsky , dedicated themselves to finishing a half marathon.
"I feel good about my time, but knowing my dad, who is about 25 years older than me, beat me by about 15 minutes, that makes it hard," said runner Brian Olitsky.
They both embarked on the 13.1 miles in the first ever Fort Myers Beach Marathon.
Richard finished in an hour and 52 minutes, Brian in two hours and eight minutes.
"It as an awesome race, it was the first marathon on FMB, I was a little worried about it, but I think they did an awesome job."
However, what would a Fort Myers Beach run be without going over the famous Matanzas Bass Bridge?
"The bridge is steep, its a steep bridge, I'd say a bridge like that sucks about a mile of energy out of you, so it makes the race a lot longer," Brian told WINK News.
"I train for the bridges with friends, the bridge was fun, so that wasn't hard," said Richard.
Runners from 37 states and 6 different countries were cheered a long the route of the 5k, the half marathon and the full marathon.
"At the start, I felt like it was going to be a good day, felt like I was going to finish fine, but towards the end, I wasn't quite so sure."
The proceeds for the race are going to help three different Southwest Florida charities.
Runners ran for the Harry Chapin Food Bank, Able Academy and the Disabled Veterans Insurance Careers.