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      Quincy welcomes runners to annual Bridge the Gap to Health Race

      If you drove over one of the bridges that connects Quincy to Missouri Saturday morning, you may have seen a lot of people running across them.

      They were running in a race that promotes exercise and raises money for a charitable organization. A race people train for year round.

      "I think it was 1:17, so it was a personal best for myself," Girard said.

      "I was 1:27 and change," Marxkors said.

      Mike Girard and Amy Marxkors ran fast times in the 14th annual Bridge the Gap to Health Race.

      It's a long-distance race that raises money to help a local organization.

      "It partially funds the Med-Assist Program of Quincy Catholic Charities. In that program, we leverage long-term prescription medications for people that aren't able to afford them on their own," Quincy Catholic Charities Area Director Jackie Bruns said.

      This event has many different types of distances people can run.

      "We have a 5K, a 10K, a half marathon timed race and a 5K leisure walk. The race starts at Broadway and Bonansinga and they go across both bridges, up Maine Street, around Washington Park, Bruns said. And depending on which race they're doing, back down into the park."

      Girard says he felt the burn of his run when he reached the end.

      "You get to about mile seven, eight especially after 10 and you're really feeling it, especially if you went out to fast like I did in this one," Girard said.

      For Marxkors, this event is about more than just crossing the finish line first.

      "I think one of the biggest things in life is, we need goals, Marxkors said. We need something to strive for. Even if you're coming down to volunteer, even if you're coming down to cheer someone or you're coming down to run your first race or your 100th race, a 5K or half marathon. You need to set a goal and then work towards that goal. It gives us a sense of achievement. It gives us a sense of purpose. It also helps us take our eyes off the challenges along the way."

      Girard and Marxkors say it's a tough distance to run, but it's a challenge they both cherish.

      "Absolutely, absolutely, maybe next year," Marxkors said.

      More than 2000 people registered and ran in Saturday's race.