Updated: October 19, 2021 07:34 AM
Created: October 17, 2021 03:20 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Runners hit the streets of Albuquerque Sunday as the Duke City Marathon made a comeback after going virtual last year.
Whether they ran a full marathon or walked a 5K, crowds of racers filled Civic Plaza – and many said they have been waiting for this day for a long time.
“I have been training for one in a half years,” said Andrea Simmons, half marathon runner.
People said they were excited to get back in the race.
“Actually that is my first race this year, wait actually in 2 in a half years,” said Garcia Garcia, half marathon runner.
But the racers weren't the only ones preparing for this day.
“The biggest thing for us is we wanted to get back together and put together a race where everyone can come down to Civic Plaza again and enjoy the festivities,” said Burt Trembly, Duke City Marathon organizer.
And that is exactly what they got.
“It's been a very joyous day, a lot of people came up to us and said ‘thank you for going forward with this, thank you for putting this on in person,’ it’s great to be together again,” Trembly said.
As different racers crossed the finish line, the crowed cheered as the first marathon runner finished with a time of 2 hours and 42 minutes, a time he said he was happy with considering the year off.
“In 2020, I didn't run any marathons, I was scheduled to run the Boston Marathon but that had been postponed, but I hope to get back there in 2022,” said Paul LeFracois, Duke City Marathon winner.
LeFracois said he didn't expect to win today—but running alongside others gave him the boost he needed.
“You get to the halfway point and you turn around and you start seeing the other people and everybody was giving me positive words and thumbs up and I missed that, I missed the competition but also that encouragement and positivity there is nothing like that,” LeFracois said.
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