Runners Contend with a Humid 23rd Steamtown Marathon  

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SCRANTON, Pa. -- Hundreds hit the pavement Sunday morning for the 23rd Steamtown Marathon on a warmer-than-usual October day.

With the sound of the canon, more than 1,200 runners were off. The Steamtown Marathon started in Forest City and ended at Courthouse Square in downtown Scranton.

Runners who have taken on the Steamtown Marathon before tell Newswatch 16 the weather this year made it more difficult.

"Too much humidity, not good weather, weather is not good," said Suleman Shifa, the first finisher for the men.

"I was trying to run a smart race. The weather was a factor today, so I was just trying to do what I could to hang on," said Heidi Peoples, who finished first for the women.

The humidity didn't bother Neil Saddler as he finished second in his very first marathon. He says the crowd kept him going.

"Being able to run with other people was really helpful, couldn't have done it by myself," Saddler said.

Others were just happy to finish.

People who came to watch the race were pleased with the weather, happy the clear skies allowed them to travel along the route to cheer on family and friends.

"Today, we started at the start line and then we stopped three different places along the way to kind of cheer everybody on," said Kelsea Holton of New Jersey.

People in downtown Scranton tell Newswatch 16 it's not just the runners that are inspiring at the Steamtown Marathon, but also the sportsmanship of the crowd.

"Everybody is cheering for everybody. It's not just their loved ones. It's really cool," added Holton.

"Terrific, I really got a blast out of that. It was great!" Marie Gallagher of Lansford said.

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