PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- The streets of Portland and surrounding towns are back open Friday night after transforming into the race course for the 25th annual Maine Marathon. Thousands of runners from all over the country came out to compete.
Participants ran the marathon, half marathon, or relay race. Friday morning, half marathon runners were the first competitors to cross the finish line. Twenty three-year-old Jonny Wilson from Arizona finished first in that race. However, finishing just behind Wilson in second place was 37-year-old Moninda Marube from Auburn who had a very special cheering squad. Marube is an activist and volunteer assistant coach for the mens cross country team at the University of Maine at Farmington. Some of his student runners surprised him by gathering at the finish line and cheering him on.
"I am so excited to have them here today," Marube said with a big smile. When asked what went through his mind when he saw the cross country team members when he hit that last stretch, Marube responded, "Oh, trust me, my pain went away!"
The UMF students went on to say they wanted to show support to Marube, a person who is always encouraging them to do their best and who cheers them on every race.
The Maine Marathon is organized the the non profit group Maine Track Club and it is a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon next year. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Dream Factory of Maine and other charitable organizations.