Race Records Broken at Eighth Annual Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon and Rex Healthcare Half Marathon

03 Nov 2014 15:55
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Press Release

4,971 Complete Sunday’s Race Events; Cary Runner Shatters Marathon Course Record

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA (November 2, 2014) – Raleigh awoke to an unseasonable chill and the sound of sneakers pounding pavement today as the eighth annual Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon, Rex Healthcare Half Marathon, and News & Observer Old Reliable 10K got underway at 7:00 a.m. More than 5,500 local and national athletes-a record number-lined up to compete in the race events, prompted by clear skies, a chance to contend for cash prizes, and the opportunity to help raise thousands of dollars for local charities. In all, 4,971 participants reached the finish line.

The day belonged to Michelle Renee Langan, 31 of Cary, NC, who shattered the course record with a time of 2:39:38. “It was a great day,” Langan said. She ran the race a full 10 minutes faster than the standing record time, 2:49:52, set in 2009 by Elena Kaledina. Langan’s finish was fast enough to qualify her for the women’s 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, which Langan named as one of her goals. “When I found out this race was sanctioned [by USATF], I jumped in.” Langan remembered feeling comfortable during most of her run-comfortable enough to enjoy the scenery. “I had no idea how beautiful the Greenway is,” she said. The marathon route showcases the picturesque Capital Area Greenway as well as historic and celebrated areas of downtown Raleigh.

Langan earned a $1,300 cash prize for the win today, plus a $500 bonus for breaking the standing record. Raleigh’s own Carolyn Bachl Stewart, 43, earned second place today in a time of 3:03:53. She secured a $700 award for second place and a $350 prize for winning the Master’s (over age 40) division. Thirty-two-year-old Jennie Digiovanna of Pittsboro took home $500 for her third-place finish in 3:12:12.

Twenty-eight-year-old Arturs Bareikis of Crestwood, IL, stole the show in the men’s marathon event today, winning in a time of 2:29:32 and earning the $1,300 first-place prize. “I kind of shocked myself today,” Bareikis said of his victory. A Raleigh City of Oaks newcomer, Bareikis attributed some of his success to the scenic course. “I’ve never had this much fun in my life—running in the forest, then suddenly back in a race.” He also saluted last year’s winner, Bryan Morseman of Addison, NY. “Morseman inspired me,” Bareikis said.

Three-time Rex Healthcare Half Marathon veteran Tibor Vegh, 30 of Raleigh, returned this year to race the full marathon for the first time. Although he said he struggled to keep pace during the second half of the race, he finished only 2 minutes, 10 seconds behind the winner, turning in a time 2:31:42. Vegh’s time earned him a $700 cash award. Thirty-year-old Chad Ware of Raeford finished close behind Vegh, earning a $500 third-place award for his 2:32:45 finish.

Local runners captured the scene at today’s Rex Healthcare Half Marathon. Raleigh’s Jordan Zwick, 28, secured the win today with a time of 1:12:07. “This is my first time here,” Zwick said. “It’s my hometown race. I just had to do it.” He finished nearly two and a half minutes in front of Holly Spring’s Derek Fenton, 44, who clocked a 1:14:31. Zwick earned a $500 prize for first place in the event, while Fenton took home a second-place $300 prize, plus an additional $250 for winning in the Master’s division. Seventeen-year-old Kyle Christ, a West Johnson High School student, placed third in 1:15:44 and won $200.

Lindsay Scherf, 28 of Chapel Hill, dominated the women’s half-marathon event. She raced to the finish in 1:18:05, earning the $500 prize. “This is the best-known marathon in the area,” Scherf said, “so I thought I would give it a go.” Vying for second were 24-year-old Kristin Johnson and 29- year-old Teal Burrell, both of Washington, DC. Johnson took second in 1:19:23, just 8 seconds in front of Burrell. They earned the $300 and $200 prizes, respectively.

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. Daniel Henshaw, 18, of Pleasant Garden, NC, brought home the win in a course-record time of 34:51. Thirty-year-old Jennifer Zwick of Raleigh won the women’s event in a time of 37:13. Zwick had an extra reason to celebrate: her husband claimed the half marathon title today, too.

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 in the half marathon event. Cash prizes were also given out to the top three male and top three female Master’s-division 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 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.