Leah Larson, Andrew Nachreiner, Anthony Roiger and Dylan Nachreiner posed for a picture with the Duluth drawbridge in the background.

Locals test their running ability at Duluth marathon

Three young men and a young woman who grew to be good friends at Springfield High School and through participation in cross country and track, recently put their best feet forward in marathons in Duluth on Saturday, June 16.

Andrew and Dylan Nachreiner and Anthony Roiger participated in Grandma’s Marathon. The marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 26 miles and 385 yards that is usually run as a road race. 

This was Dylan’s second full marathon and he finished with a time of 3:34:28; improving by almost an hour  from his 2017 run of 4:32:05.

It was Andrew’s first full marathon and he finished in a time of 4:26:56;  he had run the half marathon, 13.1 miles, last year — and finished in a time  of 1:47:40.  

Anthony Roiger ran his first marathon with a time of 4:08:26.

Leah Larson participated in the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, 13.1 mile, in 3:38:00. 

It was a huge accomplishment for Leah. “There were rough patches where I didn’t think I was going to make it, but I took my time,” she said.  “Like they say, slow and steady wins the race. I was interested in running the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon because of my boyfriend, Andrew.  I love running and since my accident, I haven’t been able to run that great. I never have been a great runner but I still love it.  I say, ‘Everyone can run, you just have to believe in yourself.’ I truly believe that! I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t’ for the endless amount and love and support from the Nachreiners throughout my recovery. I wouldn’t change anything about my past because I am a better person today because of the things I have gone through.”

 Leah was seriously injured in a crash of her car with a semi-trailer truck on U.S. Highway 14 east of Sleepy Eye early the morning of April 18, 2017, returning home after working the night shift at 3M in New Ulm. She was also a student studying in the Family Service Special program at South Central College in North Mankato at that time. She suffered multiple fractures of her left femur, and a big gash above the ankle. She underwent surgery for her injuries and had a rod inserted in the bone to help support it until it healed. She was unable to put full weight on the leg for about 16 weeks.   

The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon takes runners from the edge of the city limits all the way to the heart of Duluth. Along the way Leah experienced the empowerment of thousands of people cheering her on —beside her and on the sidelines. Winding her way along the beautiful North Shore, this race was invigorating and increased her love for running.   


See complete story in this week's issue of the Springfield Advance-Press.

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