Marathon runners share their unique reasons for competing - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Marathon runners share their unique reasons for competing

For many runners, the Albany Marathon isn't about competition For many runners, the Albany Marathon isn't about competition
Kelley Herrin says with her 50th birthday nearing it was important to her to complete the competition Kelley Herrin says with her 50th birthday nearing it was important to her to complete the competition
Racers have many different expectations Racers have many different expectations
Some hope to put up a good enough time to qualify to run in the Boston Marathon Some hope to put up a good enough time to qualify to run in the Boston Marathon
Race organizers expect nearly 15,000 people from all over the country Race organizers expect nearly 15,000 people from all over the country
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Race organizers expect nearly 15,000 people from all over the country to run in the marathon and half marathon being held on Saturday.

For many runners, the Albany Marathon isn't about competition. It's about achieving a personal goal. "This is my very first marathon, I'm checking it off of my bucket list,"said Kelley Herrin.

"I'm 47 and I was starting to think about all of the things that I wanted to do before I was 50, and so I started thinking about doing the marathon," said Kim Hobbs.

For others, the marathon is a chance to reunite. "Driving around the route, it was just fun to see all the roads that we've known all of our lives and just to be back here as grownups," said Leslie Sloan.

Leslie and shellie are sisters who grew up in Albany but now live in other states. They see the race as an opportunity to reconnect with their hometown while pushing each other to reach a goal. "She's been training in North Carolina and I've been training in New Jersey.  Everyday we've been calling and texting and telling each other what weve been training," said Sloan.

The reasons to make the race a family affair continued to add up. "I was thinking about doing a marathon and my sister was talking about it, so we signed up to do the half marathon together and it's going to be her birthday," said Shellie Iossa.

Racers have many different expectations. Some just hope they're able to finish. Others hope to put up a good enough time to qualify to run in the Boston Marathon. "I am actually trying to qualify for a few different races.  Boston would be a total cherry on top,"said Sloan.

"Not at this race but maybe the next one," said Herrin.

"There is no chance that I'm looking forward to qualifying for Boston or anything else," said Iossa.

Regardless of their expectations for tomorrow, these women will be able to cross the marathon off of their list as a mission completed.

Race organizers hope people will cheer on the racers, by lining the marathon route or coming out to the finish line at Thronateesaka Heritage Center on Saturday. The wheelchair race begins at 6:45, the marathon and half-marathon will begin at seven in the morning.

Drivers need to be aware that runners will be on the streets until early afternoon.

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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