For the VanAntwerps, bundling up in masks and running gear is just part of a family activity.
Mother Brandi VanAntwerp said she and her husband, Rick, have run either the full or half marathon or relay as part of Bass Pro’s Fitness Series since 2012.
On Sunday, their sons, ages 11 and 6, were with them, so the family opted to run the 5K.
“We wanted to do something together as a family,” Brandi VanAntwerp said. “We like to stay active and this is a great opportunity.”
“I think this event is amazing for our community,” she said. “It does bring a lot of people out that we may normally not see who maybe aren’t as active, and it encourages them to get active.”
The fitness series looked quite a bit different from previous years. The annual Bass Pro Conservation marathon, Maynard Cohick half marathon, Conservation Marathon Relay, News-Leader 5K race and Run Across Springfield charity event was Sunday, Nov. 1. Unlike in 2019 where approximately 3,200 participated, this year saw about 1,800, according to organizers.
The lower numbers were due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leading up to the fitness series meant looking at not only the safety of runners on an average racing day, but also making sure precautions were taken, said Jason Jackson, chief security officer for Bass Pro.
The process of preparation meant communication and education for runners, vendors, suppliers, staff, volunteers and others, he said. Jackson said organizers partnered with public officials from the city of Springfield and Springfield-Greene County Health Department to plan the weekend events.
The number of people allowed to participate was less than half of 2019’s numbers, Jackson said.
“We wanted it to be at least 50 percent,” he said.
Ahead of Sunday’s marathon and other activities, participants had to go through a health screening while picking up their race packets. A new corralling system was also used to try to space out participants.
“Instead of that giant cluster that we tend to get at a marathon, you see lanes that are created and spacing that is created just to make sure we’re maintaining social distancing as much as we can,” Jackson said.
Participants were required to wear face coverings as well. They could remove them once they started running.
“We saw people launching with masks on,” Jackson said.
Per Bass Pro, the participants included 57 percent women and 43 percent men varying from ages 7-89.
- Addison Albin, 33, placed first with a run time of 2:28:58.94 in the Bass Pro Marathon.
- Antonio Cardona, 23, placed first with a run time of 1:07:56.93 in the Cochick Half Marathon.
- Brad Lyons, 33, placed first with a run time of 16:38.72 in the News-Leader 5k.
- Team Destiny’s Angels place first in the relay with a finish time of 3:36:37.
The full list of results may be found at: https://runsignup.com/Race/Results/101312?fbclid=IwAR1zniR7mYQgQZXHCXtLfHOhyy_sFsc0HfIctfYQnKngjA3ecfjofPsyMlM#resultSetId-226156;perpage:100.
Sara Karnes is a breaking news reporter with the Springfield News-Leader. Got a story to tell? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.