Albany marathon is #1 Boston qualifier -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany marathon is #1 Boston qualifier

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Running in the Albany Snickers Marathon Energy Bar Marathon just might earn you a slot in one of the world's biggest road races. 22% of the runners who finished the Albany marathon this year qualified to run the Boston Marathon.

That high percentage is a major draw for people who want to run in Boston.

"It's very exciting to be the Boston top qualifier," said Rashelle Beasley of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. "It is a tremendous Boston top qualifier. It is a tremendous thing for Albany. It just shows how great our course is, that it's flat, it's fast, so it was great seeing some of the people who actually qualified for Boston to come across the finish line so excited."

Albany received the #2 ranking as a Boston qualifier for the 2008 race, and is now #1 for the first quarter of this year. While the Snickers marathon was taking place in Albany earlier this month, a similar race was happening half way across the world. 

The Dragon Marathon took place just 36 hours before the marathon here, with about 400 members of the armed forces running 7,000 miles away in Iraq. They shadowed the Albany marathon, some even wearing T-shirts from the marathon here.

 It was a way of connecting to those with a common interest.

"That was emotional to see their video come through and see how great it was to see our shirts over in Iraq and to see some of them just have something else to do besides what they're there for and be able to support them in a run as they support us here," said Beasley.

 There were 418 finishers over in Iraq, with 125 completing the full marathon and 293 completing the half marathon.

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