GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN, N.C. – Sunny skies and pleasant temperatures set the backdrop for Patent Lawyer Tim Meigs’ first place finish in Saturday’s Marathon. This was the second Grandfather Mountain Marathon for Meigs, 44, from Raleigh, N.C. He finished in second place in 2009. The runner has a vacation home in Blowing Rock, N.C. and is able to train on the actual race route. Meigs finished in 2:52:33.
Second overall was Wayne Crews, 43, from Cary, N.C. Crews finished the race with a time of 3:01:44. He has run in 14 marathons including the Boston Marathon.
“The hardest part of the race was to keep running while going uphill,” said Crews.
Third place went to Alan Marion from Winston-Salem, N.C. This was Marion’s second marathon and first Grandfather Mountain Marathon.
“You can’t train for this mountainous course in Winston,” said Marion. “Luckily, I did go to Appalachian State University so I have some experience with this terrain.” The 31-year-old finished with a time of 3:04:56.
The mens’ record time still stands at 2:34:51 set by Michael Harrison in 1994.
Kelcey Carlson of Raleigh, N.C. won first place in the women’s division. Carlson, 36, is a television anchor at WRAL. She has competed in the Marathon three times and was the second place female in 2004. Carlson’s time was 3:13:13.
“This race is hard. I always say I’m never going to do it again but then I sign up,” said Carlson.
The second woman to finish was Jennifer Curtin, 43, of Raleigh, N.C. Curtin, who last competed in the race five years ago, finished with a time of 3:36:44.
Finishing third was Beth Frye, 42, from Boone, N.C. Frye, a professor at Appalachian State University, was competing for the third time. She finished with a time of 3:40:16.
“My dad is a Scot so my heritage keeps me coming back to this race each year,” said Frye. “I wish he could see me now. He would be so proud.”
The female record for the Grandfather Mountain Marathon remains at 3:01:54 set by Patti Shephard in 1997.
A total of 395 runners from 30 states and three countries, lined up for the 44th Annual Grandfather Mountain Marathon. Runners began the race at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone N.C. and then ran 26.2 grueling miles to the finish line in MacRae Meadows. The runners’ ages ranged from 12 to 73. Twelve-year-old Christopher Rayder, from Collierville, T.N., finished in the top 20.
The Grandfather Mountain Marathon was the third extreme athletic event of the weekend. A record 23 athletes completed The Bear foot race and The Grizzly Bike Race as well. Those who completed all three events competed for the coveted King or Queen of Grandfather Mountain award.
This year’s King of the Mountain was John Bauer from Hickory, N.C. Bauer finished all three events in 474.69 minutes.
“These are brutally challenging events. The Marathon is the toughest after doing the other two, but it is a rewarding experience,” said Bauer.
Kelli Sliwinski from Marietta, G.A. was crowned queen of this year’s three extreme races. Sliwinski finished all three events in 608.09 minutes.
The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games continue Sunday with a Scottish worship service, the Parade of Tartans and children’s competition in track and field. Tomorrow’s weather forecast is for mostly sunny skies and a high temperature of 80 degrees.
For more information about the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games please visit www.gmhg.org or call 828-733-1333.