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Nishi Gupta reporting While many of us were still sleeping this morning--more than ten thousand athletes ran in the second annual Salt Lake City Marathon.
Races began at 6 am and continued until the last athletes crossed the finish line a little after one o'clock.
Early this morning the energy for the race was coming from all directions-- athletes, support crews and spectators.
Runners, walkers, cyclists- up before the sun rose, to accomplish a 26 mile course through Salt Lake City. At the starting line, athletes were tying their shoes, stretching, and even waiting in long bathroom lines. But once the race was on...
It was the people on the sidelines that caught our attention.
At the starting line by the Legacy Bridge..
Lee Ann Whitaker/Supports athletes: "I don't know how they do it. I can't even run a block to catch the bus."
So she and her sister Marlene got up this morning to do what they could....cheer.
Marlene Fairchild/ Supports athletes: "What are you doing here this morning? Supporting the runners. Every single runner? Every single runner."
And they stuck to their word.
The Riverton High School football team was pretty happy to do litter control...all 26 miles of it.
At the southern end of the course, Jodi Searle's family was camped out and armed with the essentials.
"We have oranges, we have Krispy Kremes, we have pretzels."
They were waiting for her husband to run by. They thought they saw him.
Marathon organizers say everything is bigger and better the second time around. Last year, directing traffic around the marathon became a community headache, but this time around, it wasn't that bad.
Judy Rasmussen: "We just got off 3300, came right here. It was great."
Even firefighters had no problem responding to an emergency near the marathon route.
Steve Foote/South Salt Lake Fire Dept.: "The folks with the marathon were actually real good. It was kind of like the parting of the Red Sea when they saw the fire trucks come along."
The marathon may be over, but the party is just beginning. Scheduled tonight is an awards ceremony and a performance by Third Eye Blind at the Delta Center.
Today's marathon was considered a huge success and planning for next year's ceremony begins Monday.
Ethiopia's Araya Haregot pulled away in the final mile to win the second annual Salt Lake City Marathon.
Haregot and Elly Rono of Kenya broke free from a tight pack with about 2 miles remaining on the course that started at the University of Utah campus and wound through the southern suburbs before ending downtown.
The two were even in the last mile and jostled for position until Haregot finally pulled away for good and finished with a time of 2 hours, 15 minutes and 14 seconds for his first marathon victory. Rono was second (2:15:36) and Kenya's Michael Kumutai third (2:16:14).
Polands Dorota Gruca won the women's race with a time of 2:30:07. Anna Pichrtova of the Czech Republic finished second (2:34:47) and Krygystan's Irina Bogacheva was third in (2:37:48).
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)