SAN ANTONIO- A big victory for an estimated 25,000 participants who ran in the Rock ‘N Roll San Antonio Marathon Sunday morning in support of Susan G. Komen for the cure.
It also turned out to be a Veteran's Day tribute for some in remembrance of fallen soldiers and others welcoming home their heroes.
The marathoners started lining the downtown streets at dawn with each of them running for a cause whether it was for a personal goal or to honor a loved one.
Linda Diaz who drove in from San Angelo to run in memory of her brother said, “I’m particularly running in honor of my brother, senior police officer Jaime Padron from Austin who lost his life in the line of duty April 6, 2012”.
The Rock ‘N Roll Marathon is Linda Diaz first marathon. She admits she's not a runner, and never even dreamed of doing something like this until her brother died. He served his country as a marine and police officer.
“We're here honoring him. He's done this race before and he was actually in training to run this one again, obviously he didn't get to make it but he's here with us in spirit,” explained Diaz.
Some service men and women wore their fatigues proudly as they ran in the marathon. And the pride of carrying the American flag could be seen in the crowd as several runners carried it in the marathon. There was a soldier standing along the sidelines who was there to support his wife who was running, only she didn't know it.
Jonathan Gillis surprised his wife Giselle after serving in Afghanistan for the past eleven months.
Giselle Reinhart said, “I couldn't believe it, he did really good about lying about not being here”.
The couple last saw each other in January. And while Giselle knew her husband was coming home she had no idea he would be at the race to greet her at the finish line.
“I heard my name called out loud and I was what is that, that's my name and then I saw his face,” said Giselle.
There was certainly a lot of excitement at the finish line including when a San Antonioan, 27- year old Jose Munoz won the race. It's the first time in the 5- year history of the Rock ‘N Roll San Antonio Marathon that a local won the race.