“Keep going!”, “You got this!” encouraging words that could be heard from shouting spectators to runners participating in the All American Marathon Sunday.
Lining up as early as 6:30 a.m. at Festival Park, with temperatures in the low 40’s, hundreds of supporters followed the race from the sidelines that started from downtown Fayetteville all the way through the All-American highway and ended on the Main Post Parade Field on Bragg.
“I saw a Facebook post about the event, so I knew I was going to come watch it. Then I saw they were in need of volunteers to help out, so I decided to come volunteer and help pass out water,” Nikki Davis, retired military spouse said.
“I love running marathons but I had knee surgery a couple of years ago so I can no longer run like I want. So I thought to myself, ‘Hey, why not help encourage other runners?’ and I thought this race was a good start for me to help out,” said Davis.
Spouses, children, friends, family and marathon lovers stood on the sidelines holding up American flags, posters and pictures as runners passed by. The crowd came from all over the U.S. to support runners in the marathon from Florida, Texas, to New England.
Supporter Donald Burns 35, waited at the finish line for his girlfriend Alicia Sealey who completed the 5K run. After she crossed the line, Burns and Sealey’s son Brody greeted her, where he knelt down on one knee, ring box in hand, prepared to propose. She gladly jumped in his arms accepting his proposal as the crowd cheered them on.
“We have been dating for two years, so I feel like this is the right time. Her best friend works here, so she came here to run the marathon with her,” Burns told reporters.
In the midst of proposals, award medals and blankets handed out at the end of the race; The Main Post Parade field was filled with different vendors from food trucks to Special Operations Specialist recruiters.
In addition to this successful event, the 82nd Airborne Division Band performed for entertainment.