MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Thousands of people are expected to take part in Sunday’s Miami Marathon. Everyone has their own reason for running, but for some, the upcoming event is particularly poignant.
A father and son will be running in honor of their loved one and her husband, two of the 98 people who lost their lives in the Surfside building collapse.
“We used to run almost every day, we’d get in our own headspace, and that was where our free zone was,” Martin Langesfeld said.
This will be the first time Nicole Langesfeld’s family runs in the marathon without her.
“She was the example for everyone around her, she was beautiful, the smile she had when she would walk into any room would light up the ambiance, everything,” Nicole Langesfeld’s brother Martin explained.
Running wasn’t just a workout, it was a shared bonding experience.
“It’s going to be hard, it’s very hard to train with the thought that she’s not here with us anymore,” Martin added.
“Every other day, and to me running a marathon, it’s a very strong feeling connected with her,” Pablo Langesfeld, Nicole’s father said.
Nicole, known as Nicky to her family, her husband Luis, and 96 others were lost in Surfside last June, they’re all providing extra motivation to make it across the finish line. They aren’t the only ones motivated to honor those who died in the collapse. 230 responders are also taking part.
“There pain is our pain, we were there, we got to experience their loss. It will never replace that pain, everybody has a reason why they’re doing it and we’re there to support them.” Claudio Navas, Miami Beach Firefighter said.
Claudio Navas has been running the race for more than a decade to honor fallen first responders, he was also among those who tried to rescue residents at Surfside, this year has special meaning to him.
“Behind closed doors, when there were no cameras, many things happened, we would break down, the first responders would breakdown, we all became one close family,” Martin Langesfeld told CBS 4.
In recognition for the support, the Langesfeld placed flowers to honor fallen first responders at a memorial wall set up at the race expo. Sunday morning they will all start the race together, sharing the burden of loss.
“It’s the first year I’m doing the full 26 mile marathon since she was taken from us at 26 years old, I’ll be doing 1 mile for every year she was here with us, so I will be pushing myself to the end, I know she’ll be with me every step of the way,” Martin added.
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Nicole and Luis were newlyweds, they would have celebrated their 1st anniversary this past January.