Demopolis men complete Mercedes Marathon in B’ham

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 16, 2006

For four area long-distance runners, last Sunday was anything but a lazy day off.

That’s because it was the day of the Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham. Demopolis’s Raymond Boone, Drew Cargile, and Dr. Isaac Espy each ran the full 26.2 miles while Linden’s Eddie Freeman completed the 13.1-mile half-marathon.

Cargile and Boone are friends who have competed alongside each other in a number of long-distance events, including Triathlons and Ironman competitions. With the pair having not participated in a major event since November of 2004, Cargile says Sunday’s marathon was an excellent opportunity to get back in the swing of competition.

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“We wanted to jump back into something, and this one was close by,” Cargile says. “Raymond and I are buddies, up until race day. And it’s on then,” he adds with a laugh.

Despite Boone and Cargile’s experience–the pair have been competing side-by-side since entering Huntsville’s Rocket city marathon in 2001–Espy finished with the

best time of the three, crossing the finish line at 3 hours, 48 minutes. Boone came in at 3 hours, 49 minutes and Cargile at 3 hours, 55 minutes. Freeman finished his half marathon in 1 hour, 51 minutes.

Although conditions for the race were less than optimal–a frigid 30 degrees at the 7 a.m. start with 12 mph winds, and two major climbs during the race course–Cargile says he’s happy for the chance to run the event and will likely do so again.

“It was cold, but it was a lot of fun,” he says, “We’ll probably do it again next year.”