The first Surrey International World Music Marathon mixed audio with athleticism across 42 kilometres throughout the city on Sunday.
Dozens of diverse musical acts and more than 2,100 runners and walkers took to the course with 236 placing in the full marathon, 1,183 in the half marathon and 444 in the Mayor's 5K Run.
"By all accounts, we're thrilled," said John Donnelly of Donnelly & Associates, the group in charge of organizing the marathon. "We surpassed our goal of runners for the first year and we had a great turnout at the finish line. Our goal was 2,000 and we broke it, so we're happy."
First place in the 42-kilometre marathon went to Drew Nicholson of Surrey, who beat more than 230 competitors with a time of 2:36:20 (see story on page 28).
Mayor Dianne Watts ran the five-kilometre track while Coun. Barinder Rasode and Coun. Marvin Hunt did the half marathon, finishing with times of 2:44:53 and 3:02:04, respectively.
A Surrey RCMP spokesman said there were no security issues with the event, but said some road closures - paired with the single-lane traffic across the Port Mann Bridge - caused some congestion along main roads such as 88th Avenue. Despite the gridlock, no accidents were reported in the area and the run went smoothly.
"Everyone just seemed so happy and the volunteers were absolutely spectacular," said Elizabeth Model of the Downtown Surrey BIA, who estimated about 150 gave their time to help out.
"They just really made the event."
The musical acts, which represented countries all over the globe, performed at stops along the way without any technical difficulties. The genres ranged from bhangra to steel drums to Elvis covers and beyond.
Organizers are looking to hold the marathon next year, with the date set on Sept. 29, 2013, and will make any changes necessary to improve it the second time around.
"The only disappointment, really, was we ran out of medals because we had so many last-minute registrants," said Donnelly. "We're, of course, ordering new medals and shipping them out right away. We'll take care of everybody."
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