The City of Albuquerque held its 36th annual Big 5 Duke City Marathon this weekend. A classic New Mexico event, the marathon is ranked as the 22nd best marathon in the world according to the Active Times.
The morning consisted of seven different events, including the 26.2 mile-long marathon along the Paseo del Bosque recreation trail, the five-leg marathon relay, a half marathon, a 10K and a 5K.
Participants of all ages and backgrounds lined up at the start and ran — or walked — their respective races for the day. Supporters lined up along the Bosque trail to cheer for the runners, many of them being relay teams that partook in the event.
Madonna Graham, a runner in a "Soccer Moms" marathon relay team, said her team joined the race to have fun and set an example for their children.
"It was mostly for ourselves, but also to show our kids the importance of life-long fitness and setting goals for yourself and accomplishing those goals," Graham said. She and her team didn’t place, but for the "Soccer Moms" it wasn’t about winning: Rather, it was about having fun.
"We probably came in last but first in all of our hearts," Graham joked. "It was just really fun prepping, a really fun day off, it was fun messaging in between. So yeah, it was great."
Others pushed their limits for the marathon and spent an extensive amount of time preparing for the daunting 26-mile race.
Midwife and first-time marathoner Eva Warner had a celebratory snack at the end of her run. Warner had been training since June and said this was a long-time dream that felt like hers for the taking.
"I think its always incredible to see how far you can take your body, and it's a mental game as much as it is physical," Warner said. "It’s always impressive to see your (own) strength."
After the world record for the fastest marathon was broken last week by Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge — who broke the two-hour barrier with a time of 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds -- many runners came to the Duke City with the energy to match the hype around Kipchoge and his accomplishment.
For the men’s marathon ranking, Salt Lake City runner Jason Howe took first in his respective category with a time of 2 hours, 44 minutes and 4 seconds, averaging 6:15 minutes per mile.
On the women’s side, Sarah Kiptoo of Santa Fe placed first in the women’s marathon by clocking a time of 2 hours, 51 minutes and 28 seconds. Kiptoo averaged 6:32 minutes per mile.
The Duke City Marathon is held every year in October and welcomes all people to challenge themselves in an athletic way. For more information about this year’s event or how to get involved for next year, visit www.dukecitymarathon.com.
Alanie Rael is the sports editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AllyRael