Allscripts Tobacco Road Marathon And GNC Half Reach $600,000 in Giving

Cary, NC – The real winners at today’s Allscripts Tobacco Road Marathon and GNC Tobacco Road Half Marathon were the charities supported by Cary’s flourishing community event as $110,000 has been added to a cumulative total now exceeding $600,000 since its founding in 2010. Some 4,000 runners tackled the fast, flat American Tobacco Trail course for a challenge that has grown both in size and national stature as ideal for those wishing to qualify for the elite Boston Marathon. The primary charities supported by the annual contest are: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation JDRF, the Wounded Warrior Project, the American Red Cross and the Rails to Trails Conservancy as well as Wake County Parks and Recreation.

Jason Leonard of Leesburg, Virginia led start to finish in the main event Allscripts marathon as the winner of the men’s competition with a time of two hours, 27 minutes, 45 seconds. Duke University graduate Natalie Kretzer of Charlottesville, Virginia took top honors in the women’s marathon with a personal best time of 2 hours, 59 minutes, 37 seconds. This was the first time either runner has won a marathon, and they picked North Carolina’s largest to get the job done.

The winners of the GNC Half Marathon were Winston Salem’s Christian Thompson, 27, at 1:09.21 in the men’s division and Tara Richardson just 10 minutes behind at 1:19.38 heading up the women’s competition. Richardson, a 24-year-old Wake Forest graduate student, won last year’s Allscripts race.

Higher than normal temperatures and excessive humidity proved a challenge for most runners. Allscripts winner Kretzer grabbed a seat and gulped a bottle of water at the American Red Cross tent just past the finish line. The 28-year-old runner said by the last two miles she was more than ready for the race to be over.

“It was humid, but the course is great,” said Kretzer, 28. “I feel fine, it’s just the weather isn’t what I trained for. We had a lot of snow and ice in Charlottesville until recently. I did a lot of training on the treadmill.”

Leonard, 26, made the point that proper training and staying hydrated was critical. His sentiments were very similar to those expressed by the other winners and leading runners.

“The weather caught up with me a little at the end and this wasn’t my personal best,” Leonard said. “I’m good though. This is a great race. Great course, lots of water stops with Gatorade. Plus, I stayed hydrated all week. I could see this coming.”

Mens’ Allscripts second place finisher Gavin Coombs, who won the marathon in 2010, called the entire weekend a “great event.” Coombs is an assistant manager at the specialty running gear store, Runologie, in Raleigh.

“The course is a little different than in 2010 and it’s a lot better,” Coombs reported. “It’s just such a great local event for the community, so well supported, it’s wonderful to run it again.”

Complete results are available at FS Series. Tobacco Road Marathon President and Founder Kazem Yahyapour pronounced the event a success by every measure.

“The humidity and temperatures were a little higher than we wanted but we can’t control that,” Yahyapour said at the event’s post-race party. “Everything considered we were very fortunate to avoid the rain and thunderstorms that were predicted all week. Our sponsors are delighted as well as our charities. Our board is already looking ahead to the 2017 event.”

The Tobacco Road Marathon Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial assistance to charities by channeling the passions of the North Carolina Triangle area’s running community into a powerful force for good.