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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Columbia City marathon and 5k to honor veterans continues for 12th year

Credit: WFFT
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Columbia City marathon and 5k to honor veterans continues for 12th year
Columbia City marathon and 5k to honor veterans continues for 12th year

Family organizers took a break from spearheading the races back in 2012 when complications resurfaced from husband Gary Bird’s traumatic brain injury while on duty in the 80’s and the Three Rivers Running Company proceeded to direct the event from that point.

Downtown columbia city continues paying tribute to local military all throughout the month of november.

Fox 55's mallory beard shows us how even the youth are running with a purpose to keep their family's tradition alive.


Announcer: "that is a course record...that is a course record."

Patient in the cold, ross carolus waited hours for both of his sons to cross the finish line.

Ross carolus//supporting sons during race "spencer, he's my younger son.

He ran the 5k.

And samuel, he's my older son.

He's running the full marathon."

Both spencer and samuel, avid runners trying to qualify for the boston marathon, didn't know if they'd have a local race to run this year.

But the veterans marathon and heroes 5k came as an opportunity when other races faced cancellation.

Mallory beard// after suffering a traumatic brain injury in the army, a columbia city veteran and his family continue their 12-year marathon tradition to honor local military.

Excited to see runners beat their times ?nats race organizer joann bird says ensuring the race happened this year was important to her and her husband after stepping back from spearheading the event in 2012 to tend to his injuries.

Joann bird//race organizer "the results of that injury kind of flashforward 30 years later and he was unable to be the race director and be in charge of the race.

So three river running was gracious enough to step in and keep the race going."

But bird says now that her husband is in good health and back to leading the race course in his car, the family was able to take the reins again...and so did the runners.

Joann bird//race organizer "they've come from mexico city, the state of washington.

A lady with a great story.

At 70 years old with parkinson's trying to hit all 50 states... east coast, minnesota, texas."

Bird says runners have come from all over because other races have been cancelled due to of covid-19.

Over 400 registered for both the half and full marathons toghether.

And 125 for the 5k.

Ltc doug fahl//army national guard "i didn't know if we'd have that much participation, but it seems like it's fantastic."

Lieutenant colonel fahl says the veteran recognition was overwhelming.

Ltc doug fahl//army national guard "a lot of folks will run it in honor of a veteran.

You'll see t shirts that say i'm running in honor of my dad who was a sergeant in vietnam or something like that so it's a great way to honor the veterans in a positive and upbeat way."

In columbia city, i'm mallory


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