4,315 complete Sunday’s race events; local runners capture top awards
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA (November 3, 2013) – As the sun rose near N.C. State’s Bell Tower this morning, more than 5,000 runners bolted down Hillsborough Street in the seventh annual Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon, Rex Healthcare Half Marathon, and News & Observer Old Reliable 10K. Cool autumn temperatures and bright skies presented picture-perfect race conditions for local and national athletes who vied for cash prizes and helped raise thousands of dollars for local charities.
In all, 735 individual runners and 100 relay teams completed the 26.2-mile marathon course, a scenic route showcasing downtown Raleigh and the picturesque Capital Area Greenway. The half marathon and 10K routes remained in town, highlighting the city’s most historic and celebrateddistricts. A total of 2,146 completed the 13.1-mile half marathon, which was named the North Carolina USATF Half Marathon Championship event for the second time this year. A total of 1,034 finished the 10K.
Twenty-eight-year-old Bryan Morseman of Addison, NY won today’s marathon. He surged away from the rest of the field early in the race and finished in a time of 2:27:29, earning a $1,300 cash award. It was Morseman’s first time at the Raleigh City of Oaks event. Fresh from a win at the Greensboro Marathon one week earlier, Morseman was pleased to be able to run three minutes faster here.
“Running on the [greenway] trail was nice,” Morseman said after his race, “and it was great to come back off the trail and have the crowd cheering you on. It helps push you.” Today’s breezes helped push him along, too, he said. “At certain points, the wind was at your back, so it had itsadvantages. I can’t complain.” Racing to try to catch Morseman was 32-year-old Caleb Masland of Blowing Rock. Masland earned $700 today for a second place finish in a time of 2:30:40. “He was just flying,” Masland said of winner Morseman, “and I never saw him, except at the turnarounds.” Still, Masland was pleased to run a strong pace on a course he called “challenging, but not difficult”.
“I slowly moved forward, stuck on pace, and braved the last 10K,” Masland said. Two-time Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon champion Tim Surface, 35, of Raleigh finished in 2:34:36, earning third place and a $500 award.
The 2011 women’s marathon champion, Raleigh’s own Kimberlie Meeker, 33, stole the show in the women’s 26.2-mile contest. She completed the course in a time of 2:50:08 and earned the $1,300 award. She finished more than five minutes faster than in 2011 and just 16 seconds shy of the course record. But, bending over from exertion after reaching the finish line, she admitted that the race didn’t feel fast. “It was hard today,” she said, adding that the sun’s heat felt punishing at times.
Another Raleigh resident, N.C. State University Professor Cassie Hintz took second place in 2:52:53, earning $700 in her second-ever marathon finish. She said that she went out “hard” to try to improve her time over a September win at the Lehigh Valley Marathon. She managed to shave off six seconds. “I liked this race a lot more,” the 25-year-old Hintz said, “because this is the course where we train.”
Lorraine Young, 39, also of Raleigh, finished in third place in 2:57:07, earning the $500 prize.
Local runners seized the day in today’s Rex Healthcare Half Marathon, too. Winston-Salem competitor Daniel Kerr, 23, captured the win in a time of 1:09:20. The wind and sun didn’t seem to deter Kerr, who used today’s event as a test of his training for January’s Houston Marathon. “It was a beautiful day to run,” he said. Chapel Hill’s Bobby Torphy, 24, finished in second place in a time of 1:10:19, and Brock Baker, 26, also of Chapel Hill, came in third in 1:11:00.
The third-annual News & Observer Old Reliable 10K rounded out the distance-running events of the day, providing runners with a 6.2-mile tour of downtown. Rodrigo De La Parra, 43, of Cary brought home the win in a course-record time of 31:25. The women’s winner was 30-year-old Michelle Renee Langan, also of Cary. She broke the women’s course record with her 35:27 finish.
The top five men and top five women runners in today’s marathon event won cash prizes, as did the top four men and women registered for the NC-USATF Half Marathon Championship event. Cash prizes were also given out to the top three male and top three female Masters (over age 40) runners in both race events. The top overall runners in the News & Observer Old Reliable 10K won commemorative race awards today, as did age-group winners in all three events.
Proceeds from the Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon, Rex Healthcare Half Marathon, and News & Observer Old Reliable 10K benefit local chapters of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Rex Healthcare Foundation, and the YMCA “We Build People” program. Presenting sponsor Raleigh Running Outfitters established the City of Oaks Race in 2007 with the intention of bringing a prestigious running event to the city of Raleigh.
For more information on the Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon, Rex Healthcare Half Marathon and News & Observer Old Reliable 10K, including course maps, visit the official race website, www.cityofoaksmarathon.com.