WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — The Garden of Life Palm Beaches Marathon was off bright and early this morning on Flagler Blvd, the first non-virtual marathon since before the pandemic. And were the Marathon and Half Marathon runners ever happy to be back running together.
“People were cheering the entire time,” said one runner. “The energy was great. Everyone is super supportive.”
The Coutour Club ladies from the Honda Classic were out on the course, giving the runners water, as well the boost they needed in the late stages of their quest.
“They really have to have a lot of energy,” says Mary Jo McPhail-Brown. “(We want to) give back to them and give them as much support as possible.”
Colton Lawson was the first to be celebrated, the men’s winner of the half marathon, three years after he fell and hit his head, suffering a serious concussion in the late stages of the Palm Beaches Marathon
Madlen Kappler, an FAU student from Boynton Beach was the female half marathon winner. She was excited to represent her home country of Germany.
“When I passed other people, they were cheering,” said Kappler. “Everyone was just happy and excited and it was great.”
Over three thousand runners participated throughout the weekend, with over 48 states represented and 20 countries. Amazing for a race that was fizzling out before Honda Classic Executive Director Ken Kennerly purchased it.
“The Honda (Classic) is built around entertainment as well,” says Kennerly. “When you’re sitting here on Flagler in downtown West Palm Beach, you hear the action, you hear the music, people feel it. The runners feel the energy.”
A mere 2 hours 44 minutes and 43 seconds into the race, the male winner crossed the finish line. Wellington’s Jaelin Funk was hardly out of breath when he spoke to us moments after his first place finish.
“I was going to try to win, so it feels good!”
Katalin Nagy crossed the finish line just under a half hour later, with a final time of three hours, 14 minutes, and 25 seconds.
“It was awesome!,” says Nagy. “The first 14 miles were easy, but then the sun came out, so it was kind of hard.”