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Thousands race through Atlanta

All finishers received a medal, and wore a race bib.
All finishers received a medal, and wore a race bib.K. Janssen

More than 18,000 people traveled near and far to participate in the 4th annual ING marathon and half marathon March 21. The number of racers was about a 16 percent increase from last year.

After checking their gear in Olympic Centennial Park, runners convened in several corrals, based on their estimated mile pace, behind the park. At 6:55 a.m., before the sun rise, the wheel chair participants started the race. Five minutes later, the other runners took off.

The races wound through the Sweet Auburn District, Inman Park, Decatur, Druid Hills, Virginia Highlands, and Midtown. Along the way, runners passed through six neighborhood cheering zones and 19 hydration stations.

The City of Decatur was voted the favorite neighborhood cheering zone, with Fourth Ward Neighbors in second and the Candler Park Neighborhood Association in third.

Jynocel Basweti won his third marathon of the year, finishing in 2:20:49. Geoffrey Kiprotich of Atlanta won the half marathon with a time of 1:07:43. All finishers collected a medal for their participation, a Mizuno sports bag, and post-race nourishment--bananas, bagels, muffins, pretzels, apples, and granola bars.

On March 20, participants who picked their race packet up from the Georgia Dome attended a fitness expo with running gear and information about fitness and nutrition.

Go to http://www.rungeorgiamarathon.com/ to register for the 2011 marathon and half marathon.

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