Joshua Klarmann and Ryan Wiebe, Kansas State University students from Peabody, ran a marathon relay across the state Friday and Saturday, along with six other members of the K-State Marathon Club. They crossed Marion county Saturday morning, running down K-15 past Durham, along U.S. 56, and then south on K-15 past Goessel and on into Newton.
“It took us 33 hours to run 232 miles from the Nebraska border, northeast of Washington, all the way to the Oklahoma border south of Wellington,” Klarmann said. “There were eight of us and we took turns, mostly running 10 or 11 mile segments.”
Klarmann said this was the second year the club ran a marathon relay across the state, and they did it to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan.
“I’m not sure exactly how much we raised,” Klarmann said. “But we had $400 donated before we started and then each guy paid $65 to run.”
Klarmann said the Kansas weather and landscape was not too hard to deal with for the runners native to the area, but others had some difficulty dealing with the wind and heat.
“I ran my sections mostly at sunset or sunrise,” he said. “My first leg was mostly at night. I started at 6 p.m. and ran until 7:30 the next morning. It was cool and I found it interesting to chase my own footstep shadows.”
Runners during the day had more trouble dealing with dehydration and nutrition issues, Klarmann said.
“We should have planned our diet out a bit better,” he said. “Mostly we just snacked in between our turns and we didn’t eat the best things. That led to some digestion issues, and trouble with too many sugars in our bodies.”
Safety was an important consideration for the runners, Klarmann said. Only one team member ran at a time, while another went ahead on a bicycle and two more followed in a chase car with hazard lights flashing.
Those not involved in the current cycle traveled ahead in a large white van, planning rest stops and shift changes as needed.
“We had a police escort through Newton and Wellington, so that attracted more people to come watch,” he said. “My favorite part was when some people joined in and ran along with us.”
Members of a Park City running club joined the K-State runners north of Wichita, and Wiebe’s family cheered them on when they went through Newton.
“We ran continuously except for a few short minutes when we changed runners,” Klarmann said. “We also had to stop and ride across the bridges in Wichita because it was just too dangerous there. The police did not provide and escort and there were no shoulders on the road for a little ways.”
Klarmann said several members of the running club videoed parts of the marathon and they plan to make a movie of the experience.
“We have two hours of footage and a lot of pictures, so it should be fun to see how it all goes together,” he said.
Joining Klarmann and Wiebe in the run were Mike Justt, Tom Lawler, David Barnes, Carlos Darron, Dean Eckhoss, and Paul Harris. Lawler ran most of the miles in Marion County.