It started last Sunday, when the winds finally stopped and people began to crawl out of their basements and stumble out of their homes and businesses. Or, in far too many cases, what was left of their homes and businesses.

“It” is the Joplin Marathon, and it’s being run by dozens of disaster relief organizations who will be hard at work in southwest Missouri, long after the media has packed up their cameras and moved on.

For many in the US, sports on the Memorial Day weekend means the Indy 500, but for folks in southwest Missouri, the Joplin Marathon is the only race that matters right now.