SCRANTON — About 2500 runners hit the streets of the Electric City for the 13.1 mile race on Sunday.
And many runners had their own motivation to cross that finish line.
“I have the distinction of running the first marathon and now I’m running the first half marathon,” said Kelly Pulice of Scranton.
“I’m really excited that they have the half marathon this year because I feel like it’s something that can help me work towards the Steamtown Marathon and that’s my ultimate goal,” said Heather Histed, Honesdale.
“It went awesome, I pushed myself to the end and I sprinted. I can’t believe I did it in under two hours, that was my goal,” said Lindsay Buss, a runner from Allentown.
The race wasn’t just for the runners. Hundreds of spectators came out to cheer the athletes on.
“It’s my way of giving back to all the coaches and people that have inspired me to become a runner and next year I’ll be running with them,” said Kristen Kronick, from Clarks Summit.
Rob Ahrens from Clarks Summit was the first to cross the finish line with a time slightly over one hour and 9 minutes.
“We really wanted to keep it local and try to bring home the win, so that was nice. It was a great race and they did a great job organizing it,” said Ahrens.
Heidi Peoples was the first woman to finish the 13.1 mile run.
“My goal was to run a 6 minute mile pace. I haven’t raced in over a year so I wasn’t really sure what would happen in the end, but I hung on and it was great,” said Peoples.
Organizers of the event hope to make next year’s race even bigger.
“”It shows what’s going on in northeast pa, we have a running community all of a sudden, a really good running community all of a sudden,” said Matthew Byrne, of Scranton.
This was the inaugural year for the half-marathon. The event was completely sold out with over 2500 participants.
The annual Steamtown Marathon will be held on Sunday, October 12, 2014 and registration for that event is now open.