• October 21, 2019
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A map of the marathon course. This years course follows a similar route allowing runners and spectators to observe major landmarks in Raleigh.

People of all ages and physical shapes participated in the City of Oaks Marathon. There were not any physical requirements for racing in it, however most participants were experienced long distance runners or trained up to this event.

According to News and Observer website, “Almost 5,100 runners have signed up for the four races – the marathon, the half marathon, the News & Observer Old Reliable 10K and YMCA Kids’ Marathon Mile.”

That is up 34 percent from the 3,800 racers participating last year. The goal is for attendance to double to over 10,000 participants, elevating the marathon on the level of major city marathons.
That’s about a 34 percent increase over the 3,800 racers last year.”

The course is noticeably flatter, which makes way for faster times.

Bobby Mack, former All-American State cross country and Olympic trial qualifier, won the half marathon running a 1:05, pacing at a 4:55 mile pace for 26.2 miles! He finished an impressive 9th place at the Olympic Trials in Oregon this past summer. On the girl’s side, Caitlin Chrisman won the half, running a 1:23, pacing at a 6:20 mile pace.

Lauren Hoesch won the girls marathon, running a 2:51 and Tim Surface won the guys marathon, running a 2:33, pacing at 5:50.

There were some changes to all the races. According to the COO website “The race courses were designed to showcase many of the focal points of the city including Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh, the State Capitol Building, the Glenwood South restaurant district, Meredith College, N.C. State University, and the Bell Tower…The courses expose the diversity of Raleigh’s landscape, from modern city to wooded trails with a lakeside setting.”

Steven Bigelow, freshman at State and veteran Leesville XC runner raced in the marathon. Despite waiting to run his senior year in highschool, he continues his training not falling into the “freshman 15”. He runs up to ten miles a day for three months while managing his time with college work.

“My initial plan was to run the race in under 1:20. Thanks to being sick, I started my race going to significantly slower pace than I would have been taking,” said Bigelow.

Running a long distance event requires strategic planning before and during the race. For many experience runners, running negative splits {faster at the end than the beginning} is the way to go.

“I ran negative splits for the entire race and finished in an hour and 36 minutes.” said Bigelow.

Bigelow had to walk only a few minutes to the race start from his dorm. He shared a gift with many NC State students, having easy access to such a good racing event. He said, “I will definitely be attending this race again in the future and I plan on keeping in shape by running half marathons every semester in college.”

“Stephen was running beside us the first half of the race and that kept us motivated,” said Josh Quesenberry, freshman. ““The race was great and I enjoyed every bit of it. Having my brother running with me helped me drive through the finish.”

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