Raleigh, NC – April 12, 2015 – Even though it’s one of the largest cities in North Carolina, Raleigh still has all the heart, soul, and down-home hospitality of a small Southern town. This was evidenced today at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon & ½ Marathon presented by WRAL benefiting The V Foundation for Cancer Research. And to make things even more ideal, the weather for this annual event could not have been better with brilliant sunshine and temperatures in the mid 50s—perfect for many a PR out there on the roads of this scenic capital city.
A hometown favorite, Bobby Mack was the first runner to cross the finish in the men’s half-marathon race. The 30-year-old clocked one hour, 5 minutes, and 44 seconds. “I didn’t run exactly what I was shooting for time wise,” admitted Mack, who works at a running store in the city. “Those last two miles get tough in any race.” Mack, a U.S. Champion on the roads and in cross-country, said he was thankful he could race in his hometown since he had been injured in 2014. “The whole community gets behind this race,” he said. “The cheer sections were great, the bands were great. I tried to wave to the fans along the way. It was nice for me to show them that I appreciated them being out on the course.”
Second place in the half marathon went to 27-year-old Stevven Anderson who was well behind Mack in 1:12:12. Third place was awarded to Brad Pehr (1:18:33).
Kenya’s Salome Kosgei won the women’s half marathon in 1:18:13. “I didn’t expect to win today,” she said afterwards. “I was feeling great.” Kosgei shared a similar sentiment towards the crowd’s energy as the men’s winner, Bobby Mack. “I found them motivating,” she admitted. Second and third place went to Kimberly Mueller (1:21:14) and Kayla Holder (1:24:21) respectively.
Benjamin Ludovici of Cicero, New York won the men’s marathon in 2:41:37. His win was a close one as second-place finisher Michael O’Brian was a mere 24 seconds behind in 2:42:01. Third place was awarded to 23-year-old Clement O’Reilly (3:06:24).
The women’s marathon was less of a tactical race with Durham, North Carolina resident Heidi Bretscher clocking 3:06:59—dusting her nearest competition (Amanda Knapp) who finished nearly 9 minutes behind her in 3:15:34. Rounding out the podium was Melissa Jansen in third (3:21:10).
Raleigh has been called the “city of oaks” for all the gorgeous and tall trees that line its streets. The runners in today’s races were afforded plenty of scenic views like these along the new marathon course and half marathon course, which wound through North Carolina’s capital city. The ska and surf rock band Smash Mouth jammed for elated runners at the finish-line festival, which was held at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater.