Long distance: Quad Cities Marathon celebrates 25 years – Quad-City Times

Long distance: Quad Cities Marathon celebrates 25 years  Quad-City Times

Grace Kinnicutt

Runners and walkers are preparing to punish the pavement across the Quad-Cities this weekend.

The TBK Bank Quad Cities Marathon runs through four cities and across three bridges in the metro. The marathon will take place on Sunday.

Race Director and founder Joe Moreno started the marathon 25 years ago. Moreno has been a marathon runner for decades. He traveled to marathons all over the Midwest, from Indianapolis to Chicago and the Twin Cities in Minnesota. The Quad-Cities, he said, needed a marathon, too.

“We’re smack in the middle of that circle and we didn’t have a marathon so I thought, let’s do this,” Moreno said.

The race begins and finishes in downtown Moline.

Laura Wittnebel, called Witty in marathon circles, is one of two assistant race directors. It’s impressive, she said, the race has lasted 25 years with the same race director.

People are also reading…

“All the hard work, the late nights, sweat, blood, and tears makes it all worth it at the end,” Wittnebel said. “On race day when a cannon goes off, it all comes together and it’s just an amazing thing.”

The course loops through a portion of Bettendorf before runners make their way to downtown Davenport to cross the Centennial Bridge into Rock Island, where they will run across the Arsenal bridge onto the island to make their way back to downtown Moline.

It will be the first year participants will run across the new I-74 bridge.

The marathon, marathon relay, and Mel Foster half marathon will begin at 7 a.m. Sunday with the Palmer Chiropractic 5k race starting at 7:15 a.m. All races will start and finish along John Deere Commons on River Drive in downtown Moline.

Moreno said the weather on race day is a “race director’s dream come true.”

Saturday is supposed to be sunny with a high of 76 degrees. The sun is expected to shine Sunday with a high near 71 degrees. Race time will feel like a nice, cool autumn morning.

Wittnebel has been an assistant director for nine years and said on race day she will assist Moreno with whatever he needs.

“I usually take his phone away from him and answer any of his text messages or phone calls just so that he can be high-fiving the finishers,” Wittnebel said.

On Saturday, participants can pick up their race packets during the expo, held at the Vibrant Arena at The MARK. People who wish to run can sign up until the end of Saturday. Last-minute gear, nutrition, merchandise, vendors and a speaker series is also offered during the expo. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Fleet Feet sponsors the Shake Out Run at 8 a.m. Saturday, when participants can come out for a casual run with the pros in preparation for race day. The Rudy’s timed one-mile run and walk will also take place at 10 a.m.

Along the course there will be about 13 water stations and three Gatorade Energy drink stations and GU Energy Gel Stations for participants. Portable toilets will also be available along the course and at each relay exchange and the start/finish line.

Spectator participation is encouraged, whether it be as simple as cheering on runners and walkers or handing out drinks. Entertainment along the course include musicians, cheerleading squads and DJs.

“Let’s welcome and show our Midwest charm by coming out and supporting the participants,” Moreno said.

Proceeds are donated to charities around the Quad-Cities, such as Zero Cancer, the Great Quad Cities Us Too Cancer Support Group, and Shoes for Quad Cities Kids.

All race participants must wear their bib number on the front of their shirts or shorts and should fill out the back of the bib number for emergency purposes. The information can be allergies, past medical history, medications, or persons to contact that could be helpful in an emergency. Eight medical stations will be along the course, too.

An awards ceremony will take place at the post-race party stage.

Awards will be given to the top three male and female overall and divisional winners. Everyone who finishes will receive a medal.


* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Runners loop park for 9 hours

The German immigrants who founded Schuetzen Park in west Davenport in 1870 might have been shocked by what happened there over the weekend.