The breezy made for a chilly morning, but the runners and the bands turned out anyway for the third annual Bank of America Raleigh Rocks Half Marathon on Saturday.
The first runners to complete the scenic-but-challenging 13-mile course were two frequent entrants in area races, Marc Jeuland and Kristy Friel, who added more top finishes to their lists by winning the men's and women's overall championships. (Top men's and women's overall and masters finishers are listed below.)
Jeuland, 31, of Carrboro finished the scenic-but-challenging 13-mile course in 1 hour, 8 minutes, 58 seconds, just off the race record of 1:08.37 by 2009 winner John Crews.
Runner-up Brian Fowler, 28, of Raleigh, was timed in 1:15:32. Mark Hallen, 21, of Cary was third in 1:18:55, followed by Louisburg's Chris Eschbach, 37, in 1:19:40 and Raleigh's John Simons, 28, in 1:21:08.
Friel, 31, of Raleigh, won the women's title and was 14th overall in 1:23:51. Second place went to Yvonne Ou, 33, of Durham in 1:25:00. Charlotte's Stacy Mercer, 24, was third in 1:26:40, followed by Raleigh's Trisha Moore, 27, in 1:27:16 and Durham's Rachel Krasich, 24, in 1:28:09.
Among masters runners, Raleigh's Brenna Crowson, 53, won the women's title and was 91st overall in 1:38:32, and Raleigh's Terry Hunter, 50, won the men's title and was 140th overall in 1:41:58.
In the men's 5K, Erich Fieldler, 26, of Cary repeated as the men's overall winner, finishing in 16:46. His time bettered his 17:09 in last year's race and was just 21 seconds off the race record of 16:25 set in the inaugural 2008 race by Will Bass of Nashville.
The women's overall 5K title went to Stacey Moseley, 32, of Cary, who was 11th overall in 20:49.
The chilly morning - and some competing events - produced only a few no-shows among 1,900 runners who entered the half marathon and accompanying 5K, race director Butch Robertson said.
"We were very pleased, especially considering the fact three marathons and three half marathons were held within two hours that did not exist the year before," Robertson said. "They all pull from our market, but we in turn got runners from Greensboro and High Point."
Robertson was particularly grateful to the musicians, including a bagpipe player, who all took their positions at eight locations along the course despite the weather.
"The bands were great. They all showed up. I was worried about that because of the weather," said Robertson, who rode a bicycle to reach spots along the course during the race. "... You could hear them a ways off as you approached."
The course started on Fayetteville Street downtown and followed Hillsborough Street to a Dixie Trail/Clark Avenue stretch before heading to a new Gorman Street loop, which covered several streets before heading back to Hillsborough Street. Then, runners proceeded to Blue Ridge Road and the N.C. Museum of Art before crossing back over Interstate 440/U.S. 1 on the pedestrian bridge and touring the edge of the Meredith College campus and back to Hillsborough Street.
The Gorman Street loop was added to "free up some streets downtown," Robertson said.
Runners particularly seemed to like the pedestrian bridge crossing on the greenway over I-44/U.S. 1, where they were greeted by bagpipe music.
The course is "still sort of a climb to get up to the bridge, but I did not receive any negative comments," Robertson said. Instead, he said, he received e-mails asking to keep the bridge crossing in the next race.
Raleigh Rocks Top Finishers
With place, name, age, hometown, overall finish, chip time
1, Kristy Friel, 31, Raleigh, 14, 1:23:51
2, Yvonne Ou, 33, Durham, 16, 1:25:00
3, Stacy Mercer, 24, Charlotte, 21, 1:26:40,
4, Trisha Moore, 27, Raleigh, 24, 1:27:16
5, Rachel Krasich, 24, Durham, 31, 1:28:09
1, Marc Jeuland, 31, Carrboro, 1, 1:08:58
2, Brian Fowler, 28, Raleigh, 2, 1:15:32
3, Mark Hallen, 21, Cary, 3, 1:18:55
4, Chris Eschbach, 37, Louisburg, 4, 1:19:40
5, John Simons, 28, Raleigh, 5, 1:21:08
1, Crowson Bienna, 53, Raleigh, 91, 1:38:32
2, Terry Hunter, 50, Raleigh, 140, 1:41:58
3, Laurie Flaherty, 45, Raleigh, 147, 1:42:27
1, Jarvis Mills, 41, Knightdale, 6, 1:21:17
2, Ralph Smith, 49, Raleigh, 9, 1:21:59
3, Tim Anderson, 48, Greensboro, 12, 1:22:47
1, Stacey Moseley, 32, Cary, 11, 20:49
2, Mindy Gagliardi, 39, Fuquay-Varina, 12, 21:23
3, Tiarra Brooks, 10, Raleigh, 16, 22:05
1, Erich Fiedler, 26, Cary, 1, 16:46 (repeated as winner, bettering his time of 17:09 in 2009; 16:25 in 2008 by Will Bass of Nashville)
2, Jonathan Thomas, 35, Wake Forest, 2, 17:04
3, Michael McKee, 32, Apex, 3, 17:30
1, Dana Lebo, 50, Chapel Hill, 32, 24:32
2, Teena Eisenberg, 40, Raleigh, 92, 27:54
3, Kaye Holder, 60, Raleigh, 100, 28:04
1, George Howe, 54, Raleigh, 10, 20:27
2, Tim Beck, 53, Fuguay-Varina, 15, 21:50
3, Bill Merkel, 54, Durham, 23, 23:10
For more results from area races are available in the 2010 Running Honor Roll.
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- Teri Boggess