If you're a fan of running, and enjoyed Eastern Iowa's only spring marathon, I'm afraid I've got some bad news for you. Marion Rotary has made the difficult decision that this was the last year for the Marathon for Shoes.

Three years ago, we got the call that the Marion Rotary was going to start up a spring marathon, which would be the only one in Eastern Iowa.  Not being a runner, I guess I didn't understand the draw, but still gladly supported it, as it was for a great cause.  

It is with mixed emotions that we announce that 2015 was the final year for our marathon, half-marathon, and marathon-relay. We thank all of you for the support, kind words, constructive feedback, and commitment to helping us grow Shoes for Kids, our local charity that benefited from the proceeds raised by our event. ~Marion Rotary

The Marion Rotary would use the event to help give kids in need a life essential: shoes.  What a great thing.  Plus, being the only one in Eastern Iowa, this should be quite successful. And, I knew many people unlike me love running events, especially full on marathons.  As a radio group, we gladly got involved.  For those first 2 years we parked along the route and provided tunes for the runners.  It was an early morning, and cold and wet to start both years, but the runners were so appreciative, that it was well worth it.  That first year I even spent some time in the announcer booth congratulating runners as they crossed the finish line. Again, it was a great experience.

This year, due to other commitments, we were unable to be out on the route.  And now, it breaks my heart to hear there will not be another.  The good news is, the event was successful and continued to grow.  The bad news is, it became too large for the small rotary organization to maintain and grow, according to a press release they put out.  While it sounds as though "Shoes for Kids" will continue it's mission, it won't be funded by a marathon anymore.  We applaud the rotary for what they have accomplished.  Who knows, maybe another organization will pick this event up for the future.  If that does happen, we'll let you know.

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Marion Rotary