Local News

Thousands Run in Raleigh Marathon

Posted November 4, 2007 4:21 p.m. EST
Updated November 4, 2007 10:09 p.m. EST

— The inaugural Sony Ericsson City of Oaks Marathon and Rex Healthcare Half-Marathon were held early Sunday morning in Raleigh. More than 3,828 athletes registered for the event, which took runners down Trinity Road, between the N.C. State Fairgrounds and Carter Finley Stadium.

“It was just the greatest time. I had the best time today,” runner Stephanie Gillespie said.

“It was challenging, but that's good,” runner Amy Deane said.

“The hills make it interesting,” runner Michael Harvey said.

Marathon sponsor, Raleigh Running Outfitters, established the marathon with hopes of bringing a prestigious running event to Raleigh.

"It was just time for it to be done," Jim Micheels, City of Oaks Race Director, told WRAL last month.

Raleigh has not seen a marathon in five years. Another group tried to get a marathon going several years ago, but it ran out of steam. Runners who ran in past Raleigh marathons, remembered the challenges.

“The marathon that got postponed a week for the snow storm that didn't occur, the marathon that got diverted off course, and finally the marathon with the ice storm,” Harvey recalled.

Sunday morning, all the snafus of prior marathons were gone, as the City of Oaks Marathon and Half-Marathon took off without a hitch.

“I thought it was nice. I actually haven't been downtown in awhile. It was nice to see some new development. I need to come down here more often,” Ashley Edwards said.

City leaders hope the new marathon will become a tradition, much like the Richmond Marathon. It has been around for 30 years and brings in an estimated $8.5 million for the city.

"Most major cities in the United States have a marathon," Micheels said. "It's unfortunate that the Triangle and Raleigh, specifically, hasn't had that history in the past, but starting this year, we're going to start to develop that."

A total of 2,308 people finished the half marathon, while 815 completed the marathon.

Tim Surface, 29, of Raleigh won the marathon with an unofficial time of 2 hours, 35 minutes and 22 seconds. Second-place finisher was John Piggott, 42, of Williamsburg, Va.

Jynocel Basweti, 20, of Chapel Hill won the half-marathon with an unofficial time of 1 hour, 5 minutes and 18 seconds. Second-place finisher was Wilson Chepkwony, 25, of Chapel Hill.

The 26.2-mile marathon and 13.1-mile half-marathon benefited the American Cancer Society and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.