Marathon Returns to Fresno

November 9, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Hundreds of runners from Fresno and beyond ran in Fresno's first marathon in a decade Sunday morning while spectators braved chilly temperatures to watch. Organizers are promising next year's event will be even bigger.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For Race Results from the Twin Cities Marathon and Half Click Here
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There was plenty to cheer about as runners crossed the finish line of the Eye-Q Two Cities Marathon and Half at Woodward Park. Fresno's own Alyson Berg was the first woman to cross in just over 3 hours and ten minutes, a personal best. "Last year I did a 3:17, so this is good for me," said Berg.

But after more than 26 miles, some of the runners needed a shoulder to lean on. Farshad Oreizi and his training partner Michael Castillo helped hold each other up after crossing the finish line. "We both qualified for the Boston Marathon. That's the main thing," said Oreizi.

But among all the personal accomplishments, there was also a lot of excitement about Fresno's first marathon in a decade. "It's great. It's exciting. It's so well organized and I think it's good for the community. It's great for everybody," said Berg.

This year organizers capped the number of entries at 3 thousand, hit days before the race. "This was our first year so we wanted to make sure we did it right as opposed to too many people. So next year we'll definitely open it up to a larger group," said race director Debra Schmitt.

Proceeds from the event will go toward scholarships for young athletes, and the area's running trails. This year's marathon was also a "Team in Training" event so some of the runners raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society while getting coaching and support in exchange. "I'm here cheering for people who were couch potatoes three months ago that are half marathoners today!" said Jane Lutz with Team in Training.

Before the race, Fresno was the largest city in the country without a marathon.

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