by: Joanna Small Updated:SEATTLE —
More than 18,000 people ran 26.2 miles or half that distance Saturday for Seafair's first signature event, the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.
KIRO 7 is your official Seafair station, and we were there when runners from 50 states and 21 countries crossed the finish line — but it was the Washington natives that got there first.
Drew Polly didn't set a course record or a personal best, but he said this is one of his sweetest victories.
"Oh man it was amazing,” he told us just minutes after the race.
Born and raised in Port Orchard, a Washington State graduate, and now back in Pullman for grad school, the Olympic hopeful said a win made a tough race worth it.
"Going through the tunnel at mile 21 I was really starting to hurt and everybody started going nuts for me when they realized I was in front,” he said.
In front for the ladies was Devon Yanko, who said crossing the finish line was a homecoming for her as well, and she hadn't even planned on being here; she had a marathon scheduled in Minnesota this weekend.
"It's about being somewhere awesome, and being home so I switched on Monday to come here, and I realized I had never actually run a race in Seattle proper,” Yanko told KIRO 7. She is a former Roosevelt High basketball standout.
He didn't cross the finish line first, but recently retired Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno said he ran Saturday's half marathon for the same reason-- it feels good to have a home crowd behind you.
"This one was special because it's local, in my hometown,” Ohno said today; He grew up in Federal Way.
Polly finished the race in 2:24:52, which is a 5:32-mile pace. Yanko finished in 2:51:18, averaging a 6:33 mile.