Montgomery Half Marathon and 5K held downtown Saturday morning

Montgomery Half Marathon and 5K held downtown Saturday morning
Montgomery 5K winner, Zach Taylor. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Montgomery 5K winner, Zach Taylor. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - More than 1300 runners participated in this year's Montgomery Half Marathon and 5K. The USATF certified course took runners through the historic streets of the capital city.

Zach Taylor of Prattville, 19, won the 5k with a time of 17:31.6.

"I think it's a great venue out here at the biscuits stadium. Get to finish out here, you get your name called," Taylor said.  "You got everyone watching. It kind of puts you in a little bit of a limelight. It makes you feel a little bit special I guess, so it's a great event."

Taylor is a member of the track and field team at the University of Mobile. Even for experienced runners like Taylor, the course was fun but challenging.

"It felt good. The first mile, of course, is uphill. We had a little wind so we had a little fight the first mile and a half but other than that, it went pretty smooth," Taylor said.

Alan Ash, 25, won this year's Montgomery half marathon. If that name sounds familiar, it may be because he won last year's half marathon....and the year before that.

"It's my personal best so I was really happy. This is the first time I've got a personal record in the half since I graduated college," Ash said. "This is a phenomenal course. The first two miles are pretty hilly but after that, it gets rolling. It's beautiful. You got the capitol heights area to start it off. It's very scenic. The community comes out, people are cheering you on. I look forward to it every year."

Ash also knows a thing or two about running. He's a cross-country coach at Jeff Davis High School and now has his sights set on the world's oldest marathon.

"I'm running Boston in five weeks. This is always kind of a tuneup race to see where I'm at so I always look forward to it on my calendar. So I'm going to go back to some hard training," Ash said.

The crowd was filled with runners young and new to old and experienced. Taylor says a beginner could win the 5K next year as long as they learn how to walk before they run.

"Start with an easy walk, then start jogging and then over the year or couple months you'll build up a base and be ready to run," Taylor said.

But it's not just your body that needs to be ready to run.

"Running is truly a mental game so if your mind's not in the right place, then your legs and everything else won't be in the right place," Taylor said. "So really, if you have your mind set on what you want to do, you can accomplish anything."

Just crossing the finish line was accomplishment enough for many.

"There's thousands of people bettering themselves, staying fit, making better lives for themselves and their families so I encourage everyone to come out next year too," Ash said.

A complete list of results and more information on the Montgomery Half Marathon and 5K can be found on their website.

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.