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Morseman, Cronley, Veghs capture wins at Greensboro Marathon, Half

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GREENSBORO – While below-freezing temperatures may have kept most of the Triad indoors early Saturday morning, they didn’t keep runners away from Trivium Racing's inaugural Greensboro Marathon and Half Marathon.

More than 1,000 came to participate in the morning runs that included a marathon, half-marathon and 5K.

With the finish line nestled in downtown Greensboro on Elm Street, hundreds of families, friends and volunteers came bundled up to cheer on the runners who turned in some impressive times.

And many runners afterward, while they had been challenged by the rolling course and gain into downtown Greensboro, were complimentary of work by Trivium and race director Richard Swor, the volunteers and law-enforcement officers. More than 500 runners completed the half, and just more than 300 finished the marathon.

Bryan Morseman, 28, from Addison, N.Y., grabbed first place for the men's marathon with a time of two hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds. Greensboro's Ginny Cronley, newly named as a UNCG assistant cross country and track coach, dominated the women's race, winning in 2:51:07 and finishing fourth overall.

Morseman, running in his 11th marathon of the year, earned his second North Carolina victory of the year, and he might return next week for Raleigh’s City of Oaks Marathon. Before the race had even begun, Morseman was feeling pretty confident about the day.

“It was really nice coming into today knowing that I was probably going to be the winner,” said Morseman, whose closest competitor was 16 minutes behind. “It’s nice also being able to win the first Greensboro Marathon.”

Morseman takes an unconventional approach to his speedy runs as he chooses to go without a watch. Instead, he takes his mind off the pace he needs to keep and likes to take in the sights of the course and the areas.

“It was a really good course,” Morseman said. “Very scenic. I was a little bored at the beginning, but the second half of the course was really great.”

Just as Morseman chooses to be different with his mindset, the Greensboro Marathon chose to be different in its layout.

The marathon was a point-to-point race, which meant that runners had to be driven by bus from the finish line out to the starting points early in the morning. Not only that, but the full marathon also stretched across both Alamance and Guilford counties.

"It was really hilly, and my training has been inconsistent, so I was happy," said Cronley, who completed her second marathon and bettered her 2:55 at the Outer Banks Marathon.

"It was really quiet out there in the middle. But it was nice to run with the half-marathon people at the end. They were very supportive."

For the half-marathon runners, the run began in Gibsonville at Eastern Guilford High School. Husband and wife, Tibor, 29, and Kristina Vegh, 30, took home the top men’s and women’s honors for the half-marathon and also had high praise for the course layout.

“The countryside was so beautiful that I felt way stronger than usual on the hills,” Kristina Vegh said. “I’m not a strong hill runner, but the course and the competition helped me out today.”

Kristina Vegh turned in a time of 1:20:53 while the runner up, Dalena Custer, was only a few minutes behind with her time of 1:23:59.

Tibor was also met with some good competition as his time of 1:12:00 held up enough to beat Stevven Anderson’s time of 1:15:19.

The Veghs, who met when they ran for N.C. State, run in a number of events around North Carolina and use each other as the best form of motivation.

“I think of us as runners at the highest peak you can be before you enter the elite class,” Tibor Vegh said. “It’s just not as fun when you’re by yourself, and she’s always right there with me.”

The Veghs used this event as an enjoyable way to gear up for the Outer Banks Marathon and Half-Marathon on Nov. 10.

Cold weather may have made blankets and scarves necessary for spectators on Saturday, but it’s clear that fire in the feet kept the area’s top runners warm enough to stay in top form.

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