GAINESVILLE, Florida (WCJB) Hundreds put their running shoes on early this weekend to take part in the 5 points of life half and full marathons.
Tv20’s Landon Harrar was there before the sun rose and shows us the different reasons people are running the race.
The five points of life marathon is put on by Life South, Gainesville’s biggest blood donation partners.
Life South’s Weekend Marathon Director Ricky Quintana explained “We have been here for 44 years we are the sole provider of blood for UF, Shands, VA and North Florida Regional so this is what we do we want to let people know we’re here this is what we do and this is how we give back to the community and raise awareness.”
Runners come from all over, including one man, Joel Limo who came from Kenya and is trying to raise money to feed his family.
“I left my family and I’m a father of two children, my son is 13 years old and another one is 6 years old so we live with my wife, sometime we get the problem no food, sometimes I go to rich people to do some work, sometimes I can get money for food, sometimes I cannot so we sleep like that with no food.”
Others aren’t running, but they’re looking for help including a family from Ocala desperate searching for a bone marrow match for their son.
Ricky Quintana said “We have a young man who needs a bone marrow transplant Heston McGillis from Ocala, he hasn’t found a match, there’s 8 million people they’ve tested so we’re trying to do that for him.”
Heston’s mom Stephanie McGillis explained “Just an amazing feeling to know that strangers will give their life be it blood or to potentially have a needle stuck in your hip, you know there’s two ways to do it but there’s an easy way and a hard way but they don’t even bat an eyelash and it just means a lot it really does.”
Runners themselves say running for a good cause helps keep their legs pumping.
Patrick Maher was a top ten finisher in the half marathon and he told Tv20″You think about all the money that goes to research, you’re actually running for something and a lot of the time you’re not running for anything it seems kind of stupid but especially when the little kid you know when he does the ready set go its awesome, it feels great.”
More than 800 people combined ran the half and full marathons.