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The volunteers of the Kalamazoo Marathon

Signs along the way lightened the mood.
Water stations provided relief for parched runners who had to restore lost liquids during the race.
Signs along the way lightened the mood.

KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- While the runners may put in the most effort to make the Borgess Run for the Health of It an event, it’s the volunteers who make it special.

There were well over a thousand volunteers handling everything from registration tables to water stations to providing emergency medical care.

Mary Vajgert was part of a roving patrol of medical specialists on bikes looking for runners in trouble. She says there were two bike teams and medical tents along the race course.

She says they are equipped to respond to everything from a blister to a heart attack, and given radios to call for assistance when needed.

Then there were the thousands who lined the race route, cheering on the runners, ringing those cowbells, holding up signs of encouragement,  and providing everything from lemonade to bacon.

There were even live bands playing along the race course.

They are all part of the reason so many runners come back every year.