Runner Mark Chespes has won the 2014 Mercedes Marathon. Chespes, a native Kenyan who has moved to Des Moines, Iowa, finished in a time of 2:20:26.
"It was very nice," said Chespes after crossing the finish line. "Very fantastic. A good course.
The race began at 7:04 a.m. on Sunday in perfect running weather with temps in the mid 30's and warming. The starting line was packed with runners, 1400 of them running the full marathon.
Gisela Olalda was the women's winner for the full marathon. She crossed the finish line with a time of 2:35:33, a new record for the women's full marathon course. She says her boyfriend pushed her to do her best.
"My boyfriend is awesome, so I'm really happy," said Olalda.
Robert Scribner of Hattiesburg, Mississippi was the overall winner of the half marathon. He crossed the finish line with a time of 1:05:27.
"I didn't care about the time or the weather," said Scribner, after crossing the finish line. "I just tried to win and be strategic."
Erica Speegle, a local runner, was the winner among the women for the half marathon. Speegle says the race was a joy to run.
"It was fantastic. I love being the hometown girl. Everyone out there was cheering. It was awesome," said Speegle after crossing the finish line.