Near-Death Experience Inspires Raleigh Marathon
Kaz Yahyapour suffered a heart attack several years ago. He said that's the reason he worked so hard to bring back the Sony Ericsson City of Oaks Marathon, which takes place Sunday.Posted — Updated
When nearly 4,000 runners take off in Raleigh's new marathon Sunday morning, that event will be proof to Kaz Yahyapour that he has passed his test of endurance and stamina.
Yahyapour, one of the marathon's co-founders, suffered a heart attack several years ago. He said that's the reason he worked so hard to bring back the Sony Ericsson City of Oaks Marathon to Raleigh.
“Sunday morning is going to be the greatest day of my life,” he said.
A total of 2,730 people registered for the half marathon and 1,098 for the full marathon. The runners will start off at the State Fairground and make their way down Fayetteville Street before finishing near the Fairgrounds.
Yahyapour said running has become a lifeline for him. At age 52, he runs about 50 miles a week and hopes his healthy milestone will help him reach a milestone that neither his father or one brother saw: his 60th birthday.
“The last four years I’ve run eight marathons – three of them the Boston Marathon. So, I have a lot of passion about running,” he said.
“To me, it says the city is healthy. It’s active. It’s vibrant, and it’s more about a quality of life in the community,” said Scott Dupree, with the Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“Exactly 13 months ago, we said we were going to do it,” he said. “We brought it. This is great. It’s going to be a success.”