Special to The Observer

MOULTRIE -- As runners around the world prepare for fall marathons, the task is simple: complete the marathon distance of 26.2 miles.

Admittedly for a runner to complete a 26.2-mile course is an awesome accomplishment, but local YMCA marathon team members choose to represent Colquitt County going beyond that, posting impressive finishing times in their respective age groups. Some team members will compete in the Chicago Marathon on Oct 13 and others will compete in the New York City Marathon on Nov. 3.

New York and Chicago, the second and third ranked marathons in the U.S., have achieved capacity registration for this year.

The local team is in the final weeks of a 16-week training program developed by world-class marathoner, Benji Durden, which builds strength, endurance, speed, and the runner's mentality.

The team meets three mornings per week at 5 a.m. for hill running, intervals, tempo runs, or long runs exceeding 20 miles with individual training on the remaining days.

Team members are Robert Brown, Chuck Bannister, Ben Marion, Angela Castellow, Jimmy Allegood, Frank Horkan, Michael Young, Dave Wallace, Clifton Yates, David Adcock, Steve Johnson, Matt Littleton and Lester Castellow.

Young the only team member competing in his first marathon is also notably the first team member who is a product of the Colquitt County High School's cross country program.

Amy Sharon, who will not be competing in a fall marathon, plans to join Allegood in next April's prestigious Boston Marathon.

Allegood, who will be attempting a third Boston Marathon qualifying finishing time, states that entry into the Boston Marathon is the most coveted goal of any marathoner and predicts that the fall team will produce two additional qualifiers.

The team maintains a year round running schedule and invites anyone interested in recreational or competitive running to contact any team member.

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