Niles native takes the ultimate challenge
Published 8:49 am Saturday, April 29, 2006
NILES - The first place winners of Boston Marathon were Robert Cheriout in the men's division and Rita Jeptoo of Kenya in the women's division. Each participant was awarded $100,000, along with their share of page history.
But, what about the other 20,405 runners who participated in the 110th running of this prestigious race? None of them got their easily. It is a solitary journey that requires years of painstaking preparation. In order to qualify for the ultimate cross country race in the world, one must have set times, which are met in competitions observing the same rules of the Marathon. Ninety-four countries had at least one entrant and a number of different cities around the U.S. had participants, including Niles native Kyle Morrison.
Two days before his 24th birthday, Kyle, a 2000 graduate of Niles High School, ran the 26-mile Boston Marathon and made his dream since the age of 12 come true.
Kyle, along with his wife Kristen, qualified for the race by placing in the top 10 for their genders in the Grand Rapids Marathon, which was held Oct. 30, 2005.
Kyle finished 752nd in the men's division with a time of 2:57:16. The qualifying time for men in other races similar to this one are 3:40:00.
Kristen placed 862nd for the women with a time of 3:28:58. Qualifying time for women in races similar to this are 3:10:00.
In high school, Kyle ran for the cross country team in the 1999 State Cross Country finals. Kyle graduated from Hope College in 2004, running both cross country and track. He is currently working toward a doctorate degree in Kinesiology at Michigan State University while teaching undergraduate classes in physical education.
Kristen, a Holland native, is a 2003 graduate of Hope College and is the Director of Intramural Sports at Hope. She also coaches women's Cross Country at the college.