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Soggy marathoners celebrate 25 years - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Soggy marathoners celebrate 25 years

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

To race in the Vermont City Marathon, runners need to be prepared for anything when it comes to the weather.

On a weekend that was supposed to be the unofficial start to summer, just a short drive from the race course some Vermont towns were dealing with snow. In downtown Burlington -- no snowflakes -- just rain, wind and raw temperatures hovering in the 40s. Racers tried to make the most of it, using trash bags as makeshift jackets that soon littered the starting line.  At the starting line, the rain wasn't stopping anyone.
 
Just like the weather, you never know what to expect on the course either. From Wonder Woman running by, to people still in their pink pajamas -- on the sidelines cheering.

Race Director Peter Delaney says the rain didn't impact the course at all. "It's all good.  Weather's not a big deal for Vermonters. We're all hearty people.  Runners are even heartier, so it all comes together.  It's a great day," he said.

For a number of the runners in the Vermont City Marathon, crossing this finish line ends what they started in Boston. Sixty of the 8,500 runners ran in this year's Boston Marathon but couldn't finish because of the bombings.

Jeannie Hannigan got stopped 25.2 miles into the Boston Marathon. "Honestly it was one of the biggest changes in emotion in my whole life because when I had reached that one mile left, I still didn't know anything that had happened," she said.  "I was ready to finish the race."

She got that chance Sunday in Burlington. "I want to prove something to myself. I never got to cross that finish line and I want to see what I can do," Hannigan said.

At the finish line, cowbells and cheers rang out, giving runners like Summer Spillane the final push they needed. "I was coming into the last mile, I was like, OK, I was talking to myself like you gotta keep it up, you gotta do this and then as soon as I hit that finish corral, it was just like straight forward -- everyone's cheering, a lot of people are cheering your name, yelling your number so it's really awesome," she said.

From fans like eight year-old Ellie, happy about the rain for the racers.

By the end of the race, the sun pops out -- a finish to a marathon rain storm that soaked everything but racers spirits.

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