June 15, 2015

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Walkway Marathon draws thousands

HIGHLAND – Nearly 2,500 runners participated in the first annual Walkway Over the Hudson Marathon Saturday.

Beautiful weather accompanied the event composed of a 5K, a half-marathon and a full marathon.

A total of 283 people ran in the full marathon, which is a certified qualifying race for the Boston Marathon.

Over 2,000 participated in the first marathon

Garrett Burger of New York was the overall marathon winner with a time of 2:57:36. Second and third place men were local boys David Swift of Poughkeepsie with a time of 3:00:40 and Adam Dicaprio of Poughkeepsie with a time of 3:00:57.

Six of the top 10 half-marathon runners were from Dutchess County.

A total of 1257 runners took part in the 13.1 mile run. Laura Pierce of Wethersfield, CT, with a time of 1:27:58, was the first female in the half-marathon. She grew up in Staatsburg and ran track for FDR.

“Oh my gosh! It was beautiful,” Pierce said about the course. “I mean I lived here so I knew it would be beautiful."

This is the first half-marathon she’s done since college. The bridge was windy, according to Peirce but it was a cross breeze, not a head wind so it wasn’t really a factor.

A total of 438 people ran or walked the 5K or 3.1 mile race that started at the midpoint of the Walkway bridge.

For Margret Benn from Queens and Amanda and Elsie Ojie, mother and daughter, from Poughkeepsie, Saturday’s 5K was their first ever.

Benn heard about the race in Queens and encouraged her sister and niece to join her.

“I loved it,” Amanda Ojie said. “I think it was doable; it was definitely doable; I’ll definitely do it again.”

Benn said she had been worried about a thunderstorm.

“I’m glad I did it. The wind was refreshing,” Benn said.

Susanne O’Neil, program and events manager for Walkway Over the Hudson State Park and Marathon race director, said the race events were fund raisers for the park.

“We’re fund raising for our visitor’s center, and for running water out on the bridge, so that’s where all of these dollars go to,” O’Neil said.

The Walkway Over the Hudson has had five million visitors since it opened in 2009.


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