Raleigh taken over by runners for City of Oaks Marathon

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Thousands of runners pounded the pavement Sunday for the Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon. (WTVD)

Despite the early morning chill Sunday, thousands of runners took part in the eighth annual Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon.

In addition to the full marathon, there was also the Rex Healthcare Half-Marathon and the News and Observer Old Reliable 10K.

The races all ended where they began at NC State's Bell Tower, with victorious runners crossing the finish line to shouts, cheers, and congratulations.

It's a homegrown event that typically hosts more than 5,000 participants from all around the world. This year's event raised money for the Rex Healthcare Foundation and the YMCA "We Build People" program.

For the very competitive runners, there was the incentive of a combined cash prize of $10,500 for the winners of both the full and half marathons. As it turned out, the top man and woman to win the half were both from the Triangle, and both first-timers to the race.

"It's huge to have a local marathon and half-marathon here for its residents. The crowd support was great, and I'll be back next year," said Jordan Zwick, of Raleigh.

"[It was] a beautiful course, a bit chilly, but other than that it's a great way to see 13.1 miles of our beautiful city here," exclaimed Lindsey Scherf, of Chapel Hill.

The half-marathon is 13.1 miles. As the top male finisher, Zwick finished in 1:12. Scherf clenched a first-place medal for crossing the finish line at 1:18. To put that into perspective, the average time for an amateur runner is close to two hours. For a full marathon, it takes, on average, more than four hours to finish all 26.2 miles. However, world class runners often accomplish that feat in just over two hours.

As a result the races, many downtown Raleigh streets were closed through the early afternoon hours.

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