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Runners Tested in First Raleigh Marathon

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RALEIGH — Running a marathon is the ultimate test of endurance. Participants have to be incredibly dedicated -- and probably a little bit foolish -- to run 26 miles even in poor weather. Today hundreds of runners chalked up a personal victory and created some history along the way.

Seventeen hundred runners pounded the downtown pavement duringRaleigh's first marathon.

Winning times were posted by Spider Sillery, who won the marathon at 2 hours, 31 minutes and 10 seconds, and by Brian St. Onge who took the 5000 meter in 15 minutes, 37 seconds.

On a morning when most of us would rather stay under the covers, they all bundled up and braved the 26-mile course.

"You just have to take it one mile at a time," runner Cynthia McCarty advised. "If you think 26, you're never going to make it."

An enthusiastic crowd helped carry the runners along. The spectators did their part, by cheering on their family and friends.

Most runners train for months before a marathon. But many hit the wall with a few miles to go.

"I ran 21 in training, and I'd been told the halfway point was 20 miles, and that was true," said runner Michael Harvey. .

Running a marathon is a test of physical and mental endurance -- and there is substantial exhilaration at crossing the finish line. Those who did said it made them very proud.

The runners' times were recorded through a computer chip tied into their shoelaces. As the runners crossed the finish line Sunday, the chips recorded their time.

Runners had to wait a week to chalk up this accomplishment. The marathon had been postponed because of last weekend's threat of snow.

As predicted, this morning's marathon was chilly. Early morning sprinkles gave way to a cold, gray day with temperatures in the mid- to upper 30s.

Organizers say the delay did not hurt turnout. and approximately 100 new runners registered last week after the race was postponed.

Next year's race is already scheduled -- for December 2 -- weather permitting, of course.



Stephanie Hawco, Reporter
Adrienne Traxinger, Photographer
Kay Miller, Web Editor

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