ST. JOSEPH -- With temperatures in the low 30s it was a sunny but cold day today (Saturday) for those running in the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon.

Steve Pekarek of Royalton finished first by coming in at just under two hours and 40 minutes.

Pekarek says this was his seventh marathon he's ran in and this was his first time running in the Lake Wobegon Tail.

"I feel great, I feel exhilarated, this is awesome...I prefer longer distances the shorter ones are for the younger, faster kids," says Pekarek.

Pekarek has a unique way to motivate himself throughout the race.

"Each mile I had a person or a thing dedicated it to, to help my mind stay focused."

Pekarek wrote out all these dedications on his legs so when he would look down during the race he would be encouraged to keep going.

Steven Pekarek finishes 1st in Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon Photo by: Chrissy Gaetke, WJON

 

"These [points to writing on his legs] are all of the people in my life that have either passed away or have been a significance to me and my journey."   

 

The first place winner is already gearing up for his next marathon in the Twin Cities and has plans to qualify in the 2020 US Olympic Marathon trials.

 

Nearly 450 runners came out to take on the 26 mile 385 yard course.

Steven Pekarek finishes 1st in Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon Photo by: Chrissy Gaetke, WJON