They ran. They walked. They talked and they laughed. Most importantly, more than a dozen friends shared a momentous day with Kris Hinrichs.
The outgoing director of the Lakefront Marathon followed the race’s course from Grafton to Veteran’s Park on Saturday, and reached her goal of 100 marathons by age 60, with a couple months to spare. It was something of a six-hour, 30-minute victory lap for Hinrichs, who spent 13 years helping thousands of runners reach their own marathon goals over the same 26.2-mile route.
In typical understated fashion, she announced her post-marathon plan would be “have breakfast,” and maybe french fries with dinner.
“I’m glad to be done,” she said at the make-shift finish line, holding the medal and flowers arranged just for her. “I shouldn’t be amazed by my friends, but I’m heartened by all the people who came out.”
Mary Gorski, Sheila Wordell, Laura Mueller, John Rodee, Deb Vomhof, Paul Gionfriddo and others joined Hinrichs for parts of the run, showing their affection and respect.
They helped Hinrichs maintain her pace and sense of humor. Asked what she would do to change the course, she responded: “shorten it.”
Hinrichs ran her first marathon in 1994, and set her 100-marathon goal six years ago.
“I think running has taught me…I’ve been a goal oriented person, but the experience of running, especially longer distances proves that adage that every project is a failure in the middle,” Hinrichs said. “There’s a time when things are going bad and you have to stick it out and finish. It’s allowed me to do thing that I never thought I could do, and I’ve made great friends.”