LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The rain came down pretty hard but those running the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon ran harder.
Unbridled spirit is what brought people like Michael Spohn to the starting line of the mini and full marathon.
"Oh I'm pumped up, I'm pumped up," Spohn said. He arrived more than half an hour early to check in for the race. The spirit of running justifies all the training Spohn did to get here.
"Anywhere starting around 20 miles a week, I build myself up to about 35 miles a week with long runs on the weekends," Spohn said, explaining his training plan.
All those hours spent and miles run -- worth it just to be a part of a race that offers more than just running.
"Beautiful, it's really beautiful," Spohn said. "The first time I ran the race, I couldn't believe how pretty the city is, I love going by Louisville in that area in the old town section and everything!"
That rain in the forecast? Nothing to worry about.
"We weren't sure about the weather, when the rain would be starting, so we wanted to wear trash bags in case it rained and to keep us warm," Tracey Gaines said. She wore shorts and regular running gear under a black garbage bag.
Thousands of athletes, all well-prepared like Gaines, had their laces tied tight stood at the starting line.
With the countdown and the blast of the cannon, off they went, chasing that runner's high. In the crowd somewhere was Bryan Morseman, who ended up being the first man to cross the finish line for the full marathon. He was overjoyed, but he's done this before.
"This is actually my second time," Morseman said with a chuckle. "I won last year and I was here in 2013 and I got third. So to be back-to-back it feels really good!"
Morseman said the rain may have helped a little, too.
"I did not feel good the first 10k to 10 miles," he said. "It was really humid so I think the rain may have helped some people. It definitely helped me."
Morseman's winning time was 2:24.22.
Organizers said more than 10,000 people ran the marathon.