Montgomery's Half-Marathon Here To Stay

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - One by one the runners started picking up their packets and started thinking about Saturday. The emotions range from nerves to the smooth cut of a skilled surgeon as in foot and ankle reconstructive surgeon Dr. Chris Zenker of Atlanta, a veteran of marathons.

"This is my first half-marathon," Peggy Turner said with a tinge of nervousness.

"I was in Albany last year, Louisville the year before that," said Dr. Zenker.

From a novice to a life-long runner and everyone in between, by all accounts registration for the city's half-marathon is turning out to be far better than anyone had expected. The half-marathon is 13.1 miles.

Valerie McLean's business is the company organizing the half-marathon for the city.

"The potential here is 'Oh, my gosh.. Montgomery has changed,' and people will see the city has become progressive," said McLean who runs Birmingham Marathon Inc.

Two days ago 900 runners had signed up. By tonight organizers that number to grow to 1,000.

"We got people from 22 states participating here," said Montgomery County EMA Director and runner Steve Jones.

And those signing up now to run will have to pay a $75 entry fee, up from $50 a few days ago because extra race bibbs are needed. And by the way, the bibbs are high tech.

"On one side you have the runner's number. On the other side is this monitor with a chip that keeps track of your speed and it won't start until your cross the starting line," said McLean.

1,000 runners with about a quarter of them from 22 states.

"I read the other day that Birmingham started with 500 in the first year. Now they have 10,000. We want to do the same," said Jones.

Going the distance with the half-marathon. Runners toe the line at 7 AM sharp tomorrow.

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