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Frederick Running Festival attracts thousands despite rainy weather

Thousands gathered at the Frederick Fairgrounds under the gray sky and drizzle Sunday morning as runners braved the Frederick Running Festival’s half-marathon.

Over the course of its two days, 44,399 people across 33 states participated in the festival, Lee Corrigan, the event’s organizer, said. If it weren’t for the dreary weather, that number might have been higher.

“We’ve had a lot of great weather days so ... what I really feel like, to be honest, is we’re paying now for all the great weather we’ve had in the past and in the future,” he said.

Saturday featured the 5K and Fun Run. On Sunday, there was the half-marathon and the team relay. The festival, now in its 22nd year, is slowly returning to its pre-pandemic participation, which was around 60,000.

Dan Jacobs, of Frederick, placed first for men in the half-marathon with a time of 1:09:24. He also placed first for men in 2022. Andrea Dodson, of Boonsboro, placed first for women with a time of 1:21:59.

No records were broken this year, Amanda Corrigan, the festival’s public relations director, wrote in a text message Sunday. Jacobs was just four seconds shy of breaking the mens’ record.

At the finish line at the fairgrounds, people clad in raincoats were cheering for their friends, family and strangers.

Some held up homemade posters. “Pain now, margaritas later,” one said.

Madeline Komoroski, 19, was at the race with two of her roommates to cheer on a third roommate, who was running. Her gold-bordered poster read, “The faster you run, the faster you get to poop!”

She and her other roommates, Victoria Gatzendorfer and Samantha Gilbert, laughed at the poster.

Their roommate had been training hard for the upcoming race, the girls said, waking up before any of them were awake to run. They were excited for her to finish the race, and also proud of her accomplishment.

“She’s worked very hard, and she’s found, like, a new passion so we’re happy for her,” they said.

While some were participating in their first ever half-marathon, others, like Joseph Dadzie, were continuing their long-held love for running.

“He’s a beast,” his aunt, Wilhelmina Gaines said.

Gaines and Nyrobi Tyson, Dadzie’s girlfriend, were in the stands waiting for him to cross the finish line.

Dadzie was really excited for this race, Tyson said, because it was his birthday just two days prior so this was his birthday run. Gaines and Tyson were excited for him as well, because it seemed like he hit a new personal record, they said.

It would be a great gift, Tyson said, to PR on his birthday run, in the rain and after recovering from being sick earlier in the week.

But what Tyson really loved about the festival was how supportive all the runners were.

“I see the other runners come up to him and say, ‘You did a good job, way to push through’ — how they helped each other throughout the whole course. I think that to me is the most amazing part,” she said.

Bevan Bello also thought the atmosphere at the festival was great.

Bello was being cheered on by her husband, Tom Bello, and their two children, 6-year-old Tommy and 4-year-old Adrien.

This was Bello’s first time running in Frederick’s half-marathon. She and her family have lived here for four years, she said, but with the pandemic and her schedule, she had never been able to make it.

And even though the weather wasn’t ideal, she felt like she did well. And the energy of the festival made up for it.

“As far as runners go, we kind of know that you do it no matter what and sometimes the weather cooperates and sometimes it doesn’t. And you just kind of put your best effort forth no matter what the day brings you,” she said.