NORFOLK, NE — Every year the Laugh-And-A-Half-Marathon brings in hundreds from all over northeast Nebraska.
Recently, Tripadvisor has named the marathon as a top marathon worth traveling for in Nebraska.
That’s part of the reason Frank Townsend is here from Hershey, Pennsylvania. Townsend has been running for ten years, and all over the United States.
“I started running 5K’s that turned into 10K’s and then marathons. To date I have ran 81 half or full marathons, which includes the 42 states I’ve ran in, which includes today.”
With 42 states down and eight more to go, Townsend says after Friday’s severe weather and tornado warnings, his trip to Nebraska has been an adventure for the books.
“I actually want to write a book one day because some of the things I’ve seen would be interesting to runners…Nebraska is definitely going be in it now because this has been by far the scariest adventure getting here. I’m looking for a laugh-and-a-half marathon to end my day, because yesterday I wasn’t laughing.”
Many people like Townsend were there to crossed running a marathon off their list, but for Matt Bahnfleth, this was his first marathon. He say him and his family want to live a healthier lifestyle, which inspired him to lose about 160 lbs and participate in the marathon.
“I’ve been trying To find a healthier lifestyle and get ourselves more active, this was a good goal to be apart of and take a bigger step to getting out here…To be able to move this much and do this much consistently is a great goal to have.”
Townsend and Bahnfleth were just two of many who were running to help raise funds to support pediatric needs at Faith Regional Health Services. Townsend’s son was born 26 weeks premature, he says he’s glad to see funds going to a good cause.
“It’s good to know it’s going to a good cause. I met several people yesterday who were helpful and knowledgeable at the hospital and about running, it’s good to see that crossover.”