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Locals compete in annual marathon

BIRMINGHAM &8212; With 800 other competitors in the race, four local running enthusiasts competed in the Mercedes Marathon held in Birmingham Feb. 8-9.

Andrew Cargile, Tripp Wynne, Raymond Boone and Mel Griffin &8212; all of Demopolis &8212; trained together in preparation for the event. Although none of them took home top honors, Cargile said it was worth the experience.

The winning time for the two-day event was 2:23, which was from Gilbert Kiptoo of Danbury, Conn. His pace time was about 5:29 per mile.

For Wynne and Griffin, the 26.2-mile run was their first. But both Boone and Cargile have competed in marathons before. Cargile finished the marathon with a total time of 3:31, which evens out to a pace time of about 8:04. Wynne was next with a time of 3:56. Boone and Griffin were not far behind with times of 4:04 and 4:06, respectively.

But the four friends were not the only Demopolites competing in Birmingham that weekend. Demopolis High School principal Isaac Espy also competed, coming out with a time of 4:12. Jamie Hurst, a DHS student, was another Demopolis competitor, with an overall time of 4:02.

In preparation for the event, Cargile said he tries to clock 30 to 35 miles a week for several weeks. Then, as the competition gets closer, he and his training partners try for one long run.

One preparation tactic involved Cargile asking a friend of his to drive him to Calvary, which is South of Linden. Once he was there, he simply ran his way all the way back to Demopolis, which is approximately 22 miles.

Cargile and his friends plan to continue to compete in racing events, with more triathlons as the weather gets warmer. Their next event will be a half marathon in Seaside, Fla. in March.