DETROIT -

This has been a record breaking year for the Detroit Free Press Marathon with 27,000 participants.

And, it took a lot of hard work to make it across that finish line.

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Just before sunrise on a chilly fall morning, Evin Sherwood, ran the half-marathon. "I myself like it like this. You can dress down a little bit," said Sherwood.

Runners took off on a long journey that they know would test them physically and mentally.

Some ran because they like a good old fashion challenge.

"Why not. It's on my bucket list. It's something I always wanted to do. I'm 42-years-old," said runner Latasha Lewis.

Others pushed step after step for a much more personal reason.

One Detroit Police Officer let her emotions out after she crossed the finished line. Officer Keri Smith ran a half-marathon in honor of police officers killed in the line of duty.

"I did it for all my fallen brothers and sisters. We lost Officer Patrick Hill last night," said Smith.

Officer Patrick Hill was shot back in April during a shootout with a murder suspect on the city's west side.

Hill died Friday night from his injuries after spending the last six months in critical condition in a hospital.

Officer Hill and other fallen officers inspired Keri to keep moving when the race took a hard turn.

"I pulled from that. I really dug deep. I did it for all those who can't do it," Smith said. "It was extremely hard. But it was gratifying. The fact that I can be out here and do it."

Each of the 27,000 runners carried their own unique story that fueled them to make it across the finish line.