Thousands of runners participate in OUC Orlando half marathon

Money raised for Track Shack Youth Foundation

ORLANDO, Fla. – Thousands of runners made their way through downtown Orlando on Saturday for the 46th annual OUC Orlando half marathon and Barney Butter Lake Eola 5K.

With every mile, the runners pushed through the pain.

“It’s just a good challenge every year,” runner Kim Benham said.

[TRENDING: 2 dead in massive blaze that ignited fireworks inside Orange County warehouse | Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pushes back over report about Disney’s Reedy Creek | Become a News 6 Insider]

More than 4,000 runners from around the country participated.

Among the fastest runners was Makenna Myler. She finished the 13.1-mile race in an hour and half while six months pregnant.

“I just had such a great time feeding off of people’s energy and how supportive people were,” Myler said. “Truly what the running community (is about)... it’s why we do it.”

As runners crossed the finish line and received their medals, they raised money to benefit the Track Shack Youth Foundation.

Track Shack co-owner Jon Hughes said the nonprofit helps children stay active and get into running early. He adds the sport can be a life-changing experience.

“Not only does it help them physically, but it’s a lifestyle. They get into healthy habits and healthy habits we know means everything for emotional health, mental health, they do better in school,” Hughes said.

The race is also a preview of what’s to come. The City Beautiful was selected to host the Olympic marathon trials in 2024. The country’s best runners will come to Orlando to compete for the chance to represent Team USA at the Paris Olympic games.

“I’m hoping to come back here for the marathon, that would be a good experience to come back here,” Myler said.

Click here for more information on the OUC Orlando half marathon and for race results.


Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily: