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Joplin Memorial Run 2017 - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Memorial Run 2017

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Monday marks the six year anniversary of the Joplin tornado.

The Joplin Memorial Run kicked off early this morning on Joplin Avenue as part of a weekend of remembrance.

It started with 161 seconds of silence -- and 161 balloons entering the grey sky, a tribute to the 161 lives lost -- and an important reminder for the reason behind the run.
Barnes: "Just that it touches them, that they feel it, and, they always remember those lives that were lost."
Brendon Barnes is part of the "La-Z-Boys" relay team.
This is the first year for the relay and first year for any of the La-Z-Boys and they say they were ready to run no matter the weather.
Newcomb: "We were in it no matter what, we were nervous about the rain a little bit, just how that might, kinda damper some of the atmosphere, but we were coming rain or shine."
John Ockert joined the race because he loves to run, but he says this race, is different...
Ockert: "It was a little bit of a heart breaker with all of the stuff from the tornado, and it's a little tear jerker sometimes passing the flags, but you see all the faces out here and to be part of something that's, you know, bigger than me, is important, and I don't think a lot of people have that, and this is something you can get that from."
And it's that special feeling that drew in runners from across the nation as far away as California.. Florida and Washington, and states in between....
Newcomb: "It's just special to be a part of something this big, you know, the tornado probably put us on the map, but it's things like this that continue to put Joplin in the spotlight."
And although it's been six years...
Barnes: "Joplin is still an important part in their heart, and it just goes to show how many lives this incident touched."

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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