Local News

Thousands turn out for sixth City of Oaks Marathon

Posted November 4, 2012
Updated November 5, 2012

— A record number of runners took to the streets in Raleigh early Sunday to navigate cool temperatures and a new course in the sixth annual City of Oaks Marathon. 

More than 5,000 runners registered for either the full marathon, the USA Track and Field Half Marathon and the News & Observer Old Reliable 10K, including several athletes who had signed up for the New York City Marathon, which was canceled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg Friday because of ongoing recovery efforts related to damage caused by Hurricane Sandy last week. 

Ian Berry, a runner from Ireland who arrived in New York City Friday night, credited Google for his appearance in Sunday's race in Raleigh.

"We flew to New York Friday night to run the marathon, and we found out when we landed," he said. "We searched and searched for marathons we could get to and here we are. It was a great time. A lot of people, a lot of fun."

Berry said he will return to New York City on Monday to join thousands of other runners who have stayed to volunteer after the race was canceled. After seeing the impact Hurricane Sandy left on the northeast, Berry said it didn't take him long to get overt the disappointment of not running in one of the country's most famous road races.

"My sympathies are back with the people of New York and we'll be back there tomorrow," he said. "But today, we are celebrating all the great running here."

Local organizers opened about 100 slots to accommodate athletes who had planned to run in New York. Of the 5,447 registered runners, 4,155 people completed the marathon, marathon relay, half marathon and 10K races.

Ian Berry, 'Power of Google' draws Irish to Raleigh marathon 'Power of Google' draws Irish to Raleigh marathon

Runners began their day early, starting their respective races about 7:15 a.m. The course snaked down Hillsborough Street toward the State Capitol, back toward Cameron Village, Meredith College and PNC Arena before heading up the greenway toward Shelley Lake. Runners came back down the greenway to Hillsborough Street to finish at the Bell Tower at North Carolina State University. 

Proceeds from the sixth edition of the race will benefit local chapters of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Rex Healthcare Foundation.


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  • Autumn Nov 6, 2012

    Ironically, it's often the so called Christians who curse at the volunteers, for blocking them from trying to get to church. Boo hoo, so they have to find an alternate route, or walk a little further. Where's the Christian attitude, when they're cursing?

  • zeb Nov 6, 2012

    For the winners and their times, go to http://cityofoaksmarathon.com/
    and click on results....

  • WinnieFan Nov 5, 2012

    JoeBob, I think the response was because someone suggested running the ENTIRE race on greenways... which is not really feasible. Not to mention, only about 900 people ran the marathon, which does hit the greenway... and over 2,300 ran the half marathon, which does not.

  • WinnieFan Nov 5, 2012

    I'm always baffled at the comments of people who are "so terribly inconvenienced" by a road race! It's the same time every year, it's advertised months in advance... it should not be a shock!

    Heaven's forbid the roads be closed for 8 hours out of the year for this race. Give me a break!

  • joeBob Nov 5, 2012

    Really...part of the race course was on the greenway. Which course did you run?

  • 13guppies Nov 5, 2012

    "absolutely "NO" reason to tie up city streets on Sunday or any other day."

    And while we're at it, let's cancel all Christmas and Veteran's Day parades too! There is no way to safely accommodate 3,000+ runners on the greenways. This is exactly why we weren't able to allow more displaced NYC Marathon runners to register.

  • 13guppies Nov 5, 2012

    FYI, all races (except for the un-timed children's run) started at 7:00am on the dot, not "around 7:15". I think WRAL must've been "running" late Sunday morning.

  • I am not who you think I am Nov 5, 2012

    why does this have to be run on any of the city streets in raleigh. with the $$$$ spent on greenways you would think the city would use them for this event. absolutely "NO" reason to tie up city streets on Sunday or any other day.

    joebob..they didn't run it on Sat due to the NCSU game (homecoming)

  • fishon Nov 5, 2012

    I hate the City of Oaks Marathon and wish it would go away or move to Saturday.

    all about you huh, joeBob?

  • joeBob Nov 5, 2012

    Why does this race have to take place on a Sunday and the same day as the NYC race (was supposed to)? Why can't they run down Hillsboro St. instead of Clark Ave., and not block parishioners access to the churches on Clark? I hate the City of Oaks Marathon and wish it would go away or move to Saturday.