Race day has finally arrived and close to 400 runners laced up their running shoes to participate in the inaugural run of the St. Joe River Marathon on June 12. The majority of the runners are from out of town. The event chairman, Jesse Baker was quoted saying "It's great to be able to put on a race for the locals, but we want to bring people into our area to see how great our town is."
Organizers of the race were excited with the response to the race, this being the first year and only about 100 runners were expected to take part. He said he believes it's the area and nature of the race attracting runners. "Runners want to experience something new and the beautiful area is also a driving factor."
One such runner is Kjell Schioberg who has run more than 60 marathons in his life. Yet, when he runs the St. Joe River Marathon he'll be running on gravel for the first time. Mr. Schioberg was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany and recently joined the staff at the Tribal Wellness Center in nearby Plummer. He ran in the Ironman professionally for four years along with racing in South Korea, China, Malaysia, Japan,
Canada, Austria, Germany and Singapore. "They were all exotic places," Mr. Schioberg said.
The St. Joe River Marathon will be his third marathon in four weeks. "It's all new. I've heard it's a beautiful course. It's right next to the river. I don't listen to music when I run because I just like to be out in nature and be with myself," he said. Well, the St. Joe River is one of the most beautiful places to be so he will surely enjoy himself. With many more participants than expected, it gives this event planning committee something to think about for the future.