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Baxter Springs Man Gets First Place in Mother Road Marathon

Tears of joy were flowing at the Joplin Complex this morning.
JOPLIN, MO -- Runners of the Mother Road half and full marathons were overwhelmed by a sense of accomplishment.
Many where first time competitors, and as they crossed the finish line, they embraced their supporters and cried happy tears.

The Marathon started in Commerce, Oklahoma and ended at the Joplin Athletic Complex.

Michael Beirnoff was the first runner to complete the 26.2 mile trek with a time of about 3 hours and 30 minutes. Before he crossed the line, the first person to complete the full marathon was Brian Smith of Baxter Springs in his hand-cycle.

Smith has been in a wheelchair for about a year following a traumatic spine injury. After months of training, he made it his goal to complete the race this year.

"I feel very accomplished to be honest and loved, all my family came in for my event, they're pretty proud of me for getting it done," Smith said.

Smith and another hand-cyclist got an award for finishing strong.
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