"I just wanted to be a part of this, I love running marathons, and just to be on Fort Bragg, running with soldiers we are excited to be here," said 66-year-old Ronald Staley. "[It's] my first marathon, just to show that I can do it...see if I can do it."
"[I'm] just running for fun. And wanted to be out here in Fayetteville for the race," said Durham runner Matthew Thompson.
The race started at Festival Park with a boom and cheers. Organizers say 3,700 runners from 48 states and five countries took part in the first All American Marathon.
Most people ran in teams or pairs, and many ran just for fun, while others ran for a good cause or just the challenge.
"I am a veteran, so I am here to support the troops," said runner Crystal Rhoades.
"I am running for Chase Kowalski, he was one of the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary, and he loved to race and triathlons," said Erin Flanagen.
The runners wound through downtown Fayetteville, along Morganton Road, then on to Fort Bragg, past military displays and army units.
A Charlotte runner was the first to cross the finish line in just over two hours and 30 minutes.
ABC11's Nicole Carr and Lou Guilette were close behind in a race where finishing was the victory.
"Just to get across the finish line...I wanted to post a good time too and say 'yes, I am back I can do this,'" said brain injury survivor Jason Edwards.
The marathon was more than just about the runners. Fort Bragg and city officials want to make the All American Marathon the official "Army Marathon," and from the looks of things that plan got off to a running start.