Himberger, Bretscher Win Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh

Tibo Vegh, Michelle Renee Langan won the half marathon races at the inaugural Raleigh event.

RALEIGH, N.C.—Under clear skies and cool temperatures, dominated the field at the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon & ½ Marathon presented by WRAL benefiting The V Foundation for Cancer Research.

First-time marathoner Paul Himberger, 28, made a statement in his debut, winning in 2:38:57. Struggling in the final miles, Himberger dug deep to finish, which was his only goal for the day.

“I wanted to lay down at mile 17 but I had come that far so I couldn’t,” he said. “The crowds and the bands were great. At mile 18 they played my favorite song so I kept going.”

PHOTOS: Runners Rock Inaugural Raleigh Event!

The Durham resident said winning in his debut marathon was “an honor,” particularly at a race he had been looking forward to for more reasons than his own performance.

“When Rock ‘n’ Roll announced they were coming to Raleigh, I thought it was great for the economy and local businesses and to showcase Raleigh to the nation. It was absolutely a great event,” Himberger said.

Second place in the men’s marathon went to Daniel Peters, 19, of Nashville, Tenn., and Michael Dwomoh, 44, of Raleigh came in third.

Heidi Bretscher of Durham won the women’s marathon in 2:49:46, leading the field by a huge stretch. Bretscher was originally planning on running the half-marathon, but decided after a return from injury to challenge herself to the 26.2-mile distance.

“I haven’t run a marathon in years so honestly I just wanted to finish under three hours. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d get a personal record and a win today so I’m really, really excited.”

In the half marathon, Tibor Vegh of Durham won handily after taking an early lead. Running alone through most of the distance, Vegh said he relied heavily on the support of spectators cheering him along the way. The 30-year-old crossed the finish line in 1:09:32.

“It was wonderful, there were a lot of people on the streets having breakfast and cheering. Some of Raleigh’s most beautiful neighborhoods were just lined with people,” he said. “It feels great to win in my hometown. There are a lot of strong American runners here and we compete at a high level so to win in Raleigh, that’s wonderful and I’m really, really happy.”

Finishing behind Vegh was Stevven Anderson of Jamestown, NC, who crossed in 1:11:51. Jodan Zwick of Raleigh rounded out the top three in 1:13:30.

The women’s half-marathon also saw North Carolina residents taking top places, with Michelle Langan of Cary placing first in 1:19:56, more than 2 minutes ahead of Kristin Sellers of Carborro and 16-year-old Kayla Holder of Stem, NC.

The second annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon is schedule to return on the second weekend of April in 2015.

Top-3 RESULTS

Men’s Marathon

1.      Paul Himberger, 28, Durham, NC, 2:38:57, $500
2.     Daniel Peters, 19, Nashville, TN, 2:47:42, $250
3.      Michael Dwomoh, 44, Raleigh, NC. 2:51:13, $100

Women’s Marathon

1.      Heidi Bretscher, 27, Durham, NC, 2:49:46, $500
2.     Dominique Stasulli, 22, Lillington, NC, 3:05:12, $250
3.     Christina Colgan, 28, Durham, NC, 3:08:43

Men’s Half Marathon

1.     Tibor Vegh, 30, Raleigh, NC, 1:09:32, $500
2.     Stevven Anderson, 29, Jamestown, NC, 1:11:51, $400
3.     Jodan Zwick, 27, Raleigh, NC, 1:13:30, $300

Women’s Half Marathon

1.     Michelle Renee Langan, 31, Cary, NC, 1:19:56, $500
2.     Kristin Sellers, 25, Carrboro, NC, 25, 1:22:30, $400
3.     Kayla Holder, 16, Stem, NC, 1:22:49, $300

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