Dr. Howard Elementary teacher captures men's marathon title: 'I'm just happy to cross the line'

Apr. 28—CHAMPAIGN — Jaime Marcos wasn't sure what he'd tell his students at Champaign's Dr. Howard Elementary when he crossed the finish line on Saturday.

In the moments after winning the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon, the physical education teacher wasn't sure if he'd be at school Monday at all, in lieu of taking a hard-earned day off.

"It'll be exciting," Marcos said. "Everyone there knew I was going to run it, and I just know it's going to be so fun to go back to school and get all the moral support from my students and my peers. I'm thrilled."

Marcos braved humid conditions to outlast Dan Froeschle by nearly a minute in capturing the race's top prize with a time of 2:29:46.

"I know most of these guys have better personal bests than I do, so I know it's not in my best interest to go with them at the start," Froeschle said. "My plan was just kind of to slowly reel him in. and I'm proud of how I did. No shame in losing to who I lost to, and the other guy with him is pretty damn good, too."

An energetic crowd on hand for the first full marathon since 2019 helped him during the race.

Running 26.2 miles "is not easy, no matter who you are," Marcos said. "I'm just happy to cross the line. I had a lot of support out here ... I saw a lot of my peers and students, and that was awesome. It was fun, but I'm exhausted."

Jonnathan Fernandez had a nice view of his friend's victory during a third-place run that ended with a time of 2:30:47.

"I'm just very happy for him," Fernandez said. "We've been running together since high school."