Local News

Ready, Set, Go: Thousands Run in Raleigh Marathon

Posted November 3, 2007 10:16 p.m. EDT
Updated November 4, 2007 2:31 p.m. EST

— For the first time in five years, thousands of runners hit the streets of Raleigh Sunday morning to participate in full and half marathons.

Organizers of the inaugural Sony Ericsson City of Oaks Marathon said they are surprised the city went five years without hosting a race, especially because of the local interest in the sport.

“It’s an easy sport to do,” said race director Jim Micheels. “[Get] a good pair of shoes, put them on and go out your front door. You don’t need a ton of equipment.”

About 3,700 people registered for the marathon.

“Runners are going to other marathons around the country. It was time to bring it back,” said course captain Ralph Smith.

The start and finish locations for Sunday’s race were between the fairgrounds and Carter Finley Stadium. The course wound through downtown and Umstead State Park. Some roads were closed as early as midnight.

For some, the goal is simple.

“I’ll be happy if I make it through,” said Christina Bull, who was running her first marathon.

Adam Bull, her husband, said he’ll be happy if he can keep up with his wife.

“[The] worst case scenario is she leaves me in the dust, and I have to sit there and watch her run away,” he said.

Medical staff monitored the runners. Dr. Brian Quigley, the race’s medical director, said some runners take on more than they can handle. Rescue personnel were on standby along the marathon route in case anyone needed help.