YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – More than 1,200 runners lined up along Route 224 Sunday morning in Boardman to run in the first ever Youngstown Marathon.
Organizers had been preparing for the day’s events all morning long.
“We were setting everything up between 3 a.m. and now — all of our water stops, all of our medical stops — to make sure our runners are well taken care of,” said marathon director Courtney Poullas.
Poullas said she hopes the race can grow from here, already planning a second one. She said sponsors have already signed two- and three-year deals.
Between dining and tourism, the goal is for Youngstown to get around $2 million from this year’s marathon, which was sponsored by Chemical Bank and Braking Point Recovery Center.
At 6 a.m., runners were lacing up their shoes and stretching.
“I’m a little nervous and excited. I’m just hoping my legs are awake,” said Laura Pfahler of Boardman.
The marathon began at 7 a.m. for runners participating in the full 26.2-mile marathon and half 13.1 marathon, followed by a 5K run at 7:15 a.m.
Runners began at Second Sole on Route 224, traveled a half-mile to Mill Creek Park, through downtown Youngstown and to the finish line back at Second Sole.
“If you’re ready, you’re ready. If not, you just kinda have to go with it,” said Brandon Pasvanis of Youngstown.
Pasvanis won the 5K with a time of 17 minutes and 41 seconds. He says his grandmother helped push him through the last mile.
“She’s Greek, so I wore these Greek flag shorts and I thought it was a good way to remember her,” he said.
Less than an hour later, Bobby Moldovan, of Twinsburg, crossed the finish line, winning the half marathon with a time of 1 hour, 9 minutes and 18 seconds.
“It felt great, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know the competition out here and to be able to come out and win the first ever half marathon here at the Youngstown Marathon, it’s a pretty amazing feeling,” Moldovan said.
This is his second marathon.
“Just kind of a change than your normal road races where you’re running through a big city where you have to block off cars. It’s just really peaceful,” Moldovan said.
Tony Migliozzi, from North Canton, was the marathon’s winner at 2 hours, 36 minutes and 48 seconds. He was greeted with a beer after setting the first record for the Youngstown Marathon.
“This medal is so sick,” he said.
This isn’t Migliozzi’s first race, though.
“I’ve been the 50K World Champ the last two years, I was at the Olympic trials last year,” he said.
Migliozzi has been training for today’s marathon all year long, but what really pushed him through the finish line was the crowd.
“I had some lead bikers that were really supportive, everyone out on the course. The fans out here is what got me through it,” he said.
Results from the races can be found through the Youngstown Marathon’s website.
Proceeds from today’s races will go to the Mahoning Valley’s United Way Success after Six program and the Trumbull County Children’s Rehabilitation Center.
The Success After Six program helps give children opportunities to have fun around the area, like taking a trip to the Oh Wow! Children’s Center or going to a dance class.
President Bob Hannon says funds from events like this are really important for the non-profit.
“It’s huge, because you’re taking young children that don’t get these opportunities. So every dollar we get, we can bring more kids into the program … Beginning this September, this money will directly go to work, and also, all the money stays here,” he said.
For the upcoming school year, the United Way already has 600 children from Youngstown who will be part of its programs.
Check out the rest of our stories about the Youngstown Marathon:
- Man lost 140 lbs. before running in Youngstown Marathon
- Canadian man set for Youngstown Marathon; Austintown man just keeps running
- Energy and excitement high for first Youngstown Marathon
- Youngstown Marathon promises to draw big crowds
- Youngstown Marathon nearing 1K-runner goal as race nears
- Location changes for June 4 Youngstown Marathon
- Ready to run? Registration now open for Youngstown’s first marathon