With $88,000 in prize money, the Silo District Marathon is expected to attract runners from all 50 states and numerous other countries Sunday morning in downtown Waco.
The marathon will start at 7 a.m. at Magnolia Market at the Silos followed by the half-marathon at 7:30 a.m. at the same location. The 5K run will start at 7:30 a.m. at Third Street and Mary Avenue.
The event is expected to attract 6,000 competitors with 700 competing in the marathon, 2,150 in the half-marathon and 3,150 in the 5K run, according to Magnolia publicist John Marsicano.
The men’s and women’s marathon winners will each earn $15,000, while second-place finishers will earn $7,500 and third-place finishers $4,000. The men’s and women’s half-marathon winners will receive $10,000, while second-place finishers will earn $5,000 and third-place finishers $2,500.
“The prize money is enormous and they’ll get some talent for that,” said veteran local race organizer Nancy Goodnight, who isn’t involved in the Silo District Marathon but has organized the Waco Miracle Match Marathon for 13 years.
Marsicano declined to comment on individual entrants, but said every state in the United States will be represented along with runners from six other countries, including Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Mexico, Panama and the Cayman Islands.
Magnolia’s Chip Gaines has pledged to run in the marathon and will donate profits from the event to the newly formed Brave Like Gabe Foundation, which is pursuing remedies for rare forms of cancer.
He and wife Joanna met a young woman, Gabriele “Gabe” Grunewald, a professional runner who had been battling adenoid cystic carcinoma for a decade, according to a report in countryliving.com. They met Grunewald in New York when Chip was promoting his book “Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned While doing Stupid Stuff.”
“After hearing Gabe’s story, I realized two things: I didn’t want to spend another second standing on the sidelines,” Chip wrote on his Magnolia blog as cited by countryliving.com. “And secondly, given what she’s gone through, I didn’t have any excuse not to give this a shot. So I committed.”
Grunewald has overseen Gaines’ marathon training, and the “Fixer Upper” star has tweeted occasional updates about his training plan for the race.
“It’s been exciting,” Gaines told Brian Dalek in a March 12 Runner’s World interview. “I like sharing it. I’ve always pushed people to chase their goals, no matter how big, and it’s about time I put my money where my mouth is. Hopefully this all convinces someone else to do something they think is impossible. That’d make it all worth it for me.”