4,155 Complete Sunday’s Race Events; Local Runner Breaks Half Marathon Record
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA (November 4, 2012) – Raleigh set a record today when more than 5,000 runners spanned Hillsborough Street for the start of the sixth annual Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon, Rex Healthcare Half Marathon, and News & Observer Old Reliable 10K. Cool autumn temperatures and overcast skies presented ideal race conditions for local and national athletes who vied for cash prizes and helped raise thousands of dollars for local charities.
For the first time, the marathon field capped out and registration was closed after the cancellation of the New York City Marathon on Friday caused an unexpected boost in registration requests. Race organizers expanded the marathon field by more than 100 spots to help accommodate some of the shut-out athletes.
In all, 871 individual runners and 86 relay teams completed the 26.2-mile marathon course, a new route that included a scenic, 14-mile excursion along the Capital Area Greenway. The half marathon and 10K routes remained in town, showcasing the city’s most historic and celebrated districts. A total of 2,377 completed the 13.1-mile half marathon, which was named the North Carolina USATF Half Marathon Championship event for the first time this year. A total of 821 finished the 10K.
Raleigh’s own Tim Surface, 34, won today’s marathon. He surged away from the rest of the field early in the race and finished in a time of 2:33:57. It was a second win here for Surface, who seized the marathon title at its 2007 inaugural run. He earned a $1,300 cash prize for today’s win.
With a smile, Surface praised the support of the crowd. “It was rough from mile 17,” he said, “and I was feeling it on the greenway.” This year’s course change, which moved the marathoners off the infamously steep trails of William B. Umstead State Park, offered little comfort for Surface, who trains regularly in Umstead. “But I always like new challenges,” he said. This year’s paved course presented a new set of hills for the marathoners to contend. “The crowd really got me through it,” said Surface.
Second and third place were captured by two Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon veterans. Orinthal Striggles, 36, of Elgin, SC, ran the race for his fifth time today. He took second place in a time of 2:40:38, earning $700. John Piggott of Williamsburg, VA, had also run four of the previous Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon races. He placed third today in 2:41:22 and took home a $500 cash prize.
Chapel Hill’s Lauren Holesh, 24, earned the women’s marathon title today in a time of 2:51:26, just 1 minute, 34 seconds off the marathon’s record time. Holesh won $1,300 for her performance. Second place went to Shawanna White, 32, of Stone Mountain, GA, who crossed the finish line in 2:52:42, earning the $700 prize. Natalie Hall, 26, of Blacksburg, VA, captured third in a time of 2:53:28, winning the $500 prize.
Sparks flew in the half marathon race as former N.C. State runner Bobby Mack, 27, of Raleigh broke the course record by 17 seconds. He finished in a time of 1:04:21, earning a $1,000 cash award for his win in the NC-USATF Half Marathon Championship event, plus an additional $300 for the new course record.
Mack’s new record didn’t come easily, despite today’s cool weather. “I found it tough,” he said of the hilly half marathon course. “I kept telling myself that the first six miles [or so] would be the hardest, but the last six really got me.”
Mack’s friend and training partner, Stephen Furst, 27, wasn’t far behind. Furst took second place in a time of 1:05:52, earning $500 for the NC-USATF championship spot. It was familiar scene for the Raleigh resident, who placed second in the Rex Healthcare Half Marathon two years ago. Chapel Hill’s Mark Jeuland, 33, came in third today in 1:09:23 and earned $300 as a NC-USATF championship competitor.
Caitlin Chrisman of Charlotte captured first place in the women’s half marathon event today with a time of 1:23:03. The 26-year-old took home $1,000 and the NC-USATF Half Marathon Championship title. Chrisman admitted that her time was slower than she typically races the 13.1-mile distance. “I ran it for fun,” she said of her performance today. She plans on getting married this month and is focused on her future. “I’m looking forward to taking two weeks off [from training] to get ready for my wedding.”Danielle Baker, 36, of Durham finished behind Chrisman in a time of 1:26:48, securing second place, and Phoebe Markle, 28, of Alexandria, VA, took third place in 1:28:11.
Today’s second-annual News & Observer Old Reliable 10K gave shorter-distance runners a chance to display their talents. Chapel Hill’s Brock Baker, 25, brought home the win in a course-record time of 32:02. The women’s winner was 33-year-old Brianne Gaal of Cary, who completed the 6.2-mile course in 40:57.
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 and the Rex Healthcare Foundation. 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 Heathcare Half Marathon and News & Observer Old Reliable 10K, including course maps, visit the official race website, www.cityofoaksmarathon.com.