Hundreds hit the pavement for Sackets Harbor Marathon & Half Marathon

Published: Sep. 3, 2023 at 5:28 PM EDT
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SACKETS HARBOR, New York (WWNY) - It was a milestone day for the Village of Sackets Harbor, hosting its first annual marathon and half marathon.

It drew in more than 600 runners. The race is a qualifier for one of the most popular races in the world: the Boston Marathon.

Those organizing the event say people came from 38 different states and Canada.

“This is just incredible, and we could not be happier with the turnout and we are just getting positive feedback,” said Karyn Reinhardt, co-director of the race.

Finishing the 26.2 mile race first was Central New York resident Andrew Dionne. He plans to run the Boston Marathon and says this race was the best way to start his fall training.

“I have a couple of other races late in the fall, so the goal today was just to try and run as conservatively as possible. You know, no marathon is truly easy,” said Andrew Dionne, Sackets Harbor Marathon participant.

Other visitors were running for a cause. A group Running for Ayotzinapa drove up from New York City.

This group is calling for justice for the unsolved case of 43 young Mexican students kidnapped in September of 2014, in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico.

According to the New York Times, these 43 college students were shot at by police, forced into patrol cars, and handed over to a drug cartel and never seen again.

“It reminds us to stick together as a community, and to keep fighting no matter what. You know nine years, it’s been nine years, mothers and fathers just keep pushing, keep pushing,” said America Lezama.

Part of Running for Ayotzinapa is Antonio Tizapa. His son Jorge Antonio was one of the 43 students kidnapped.

“All these months, we’ve been fighting and demanding answers, we’ve gone out to different places, knocking on doors, we’ve been to the United Nations... and obviously Mexico, we’ve been pushing to find out the truth. Where are our children?” said Tizapa.

Tizapa says it was great for the group to raise awareness while trying to qualify.

A handful of runners from this race did end up making the cut, now moving on from this small town setting to the big stage in Boston in April 2024.