Beginners and pros take to streets for Montgomery Half Marathon

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - More than 2,000 people took to the streets of Montgomery Saturday morning for the 3rd Annual Montgomery Half Marathon.

Folks of all ages ran through downtown, Capital Heights, and Old Cloverdale. While some of them were seasoned runners, others were just taking up a new hobby.

Long before race day, Andy Whitaker made a decision.

"I just wanted to set a goal to go run...and I picked the half marathon.  I don't why."

He's never really been a runner, but wearing his son's boot camp shorts for inspiration, Whitaker took on the challenge that is 13.1 miles.

"I've been running 3, 4, 5 miles a day at the YMCA on the treadmill and I've run part of the course before," he says.

He joins thousands of others with the same goal--to finish the race. But that means one thing.

"Stay ahead of the balloon lady. If you get behind her, they pick you up."

One man who had no trouble staying well ahead of her--Half Marathon winner Michael Green from Troy--crossing the finish line with an impressive 1:08 time, and with only good things to say about the race.

"I've never seen so many red cones in my life. The course is unbelievably marked. It's great."

Not only was it easy to follow, but entertainment met runners at different mile markers--making what could have been a grueling few hours a little more enjoyable.

While some folks are, Whitaker knows he's not breaking any records.  Simply running is good enough for him.

"I want to become a regular runner and that's why I chose this just to get started and have a good goal to go after."

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