HOLLAND, Mich. -- About twelve hundred runners participated in the Holland Haven Marathon Sunday morning.
The marathon hosted full, half and 8K distance options, providing buses to take runners from the Holland Civic Center to Grand Haven where they ran along the lakeshore back to Holland. Whether from the area or visiting from out of town, the point to point Holland Haven marathon is a highlight race every year for runners across the Midwest.
Erin Rylaarsdam ran for the race trifecta medal this morning, earned only after having run all 3 distances the race offers. She completed the half marathon for the first 4 years and the 8K last year after an injury. Rylaarsdam ran the full marathon Sunday morning to earn the coveted medal.
"It’s a hometown race to me," Rylaarsdam said , running the race for the 6th time. "I've run in Holland ever since I started running 10 years ago"
Lakeshore residents, like Tonya Limber and Jon Meengs of the Holland Running Club, see it as an opportunity to support their home.
"We have a city that very much is promoting running and being outside." Limber and Meengs said. "When you walk around Holland you’ll see it running trails, you will see heated sidewalks in the winter time, bike paths and you see everything that it takes for a good growing community to support an active group of individuals outside."
The race is especially important for serious lakeshore-area runners. "For one thing it’s our only full marathon in the area, nobody else is doing a full marathon." Race Director, Eddie Kline told FOX 17. "It’s also a Boston marathon qualifier. The registration for Boston opens up tomorrow so people are coming out here to run today to qualify."