2008 MORE Marathon + Half-Marathon

Photos from the fifth annual event

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More than 7,000 women participated in the April 6 race in New York City’s Central Park. Medals waited for runners at the course’s finish; but the real reward? Making it to the end.

Supermodel Kim Alexis hosted the event and cheered for racers from the sidelines. A marathoner herself, she explained the allure those grueling 26.2 miles possess: "Once you’re done, the accomplishment is self-satisfying. Most women are nurturers, and they give so much to others. When you do this you feel that you’ve done something really important for you — not for anyone else."

From elite runners to first-time participants, women of all skill levels showed up for the race. These walkers grinned through their group stretch at the start.

At the starting line: As the day began, energy levels soared.

Keep smiling, ladies! Midway through the race, runners continued to push themselves toward the finish.

Victory squad: Bundled-up onlookers lined the roadway to cheer friends and family members.

A few racers crossed the finish line with their supporters, like this mom and her three biggest cheerleaders.

Here’s to a race well-run: Teammates raised their arms in celebration.

For many women, reaching the end prompted an emotional moment of triumph.

A euphoric Stephanie Hodge, 42, crossed the finish line to win the 2008 MORE Marathon with a time of 3:01:50. For her, the race was about celebrating a "community of peers — balanced women, smart women, women that like to challenge themselves. This is really a forum for us," she said. "And it feels good to be over 40 and on top of your game."

For Editor-in-Chief Lesley Jane Seymour (center), the event epitomized the MORE woman’s spirit. "These women are so upbeat, positive, pushing themselves beyond what they think they can do," Seymour said. "I think it’s all about bonding and also about pushing yourself to new levels and new things you didn’t know you could do." From left: Winner Hodge, Seymour, and New York Road Runners President and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

At the course’s end, finishers wrapped in mylar heat blankets congratulated one another.

The results board gave runners their official times.

NYRR’s Wittenberg took the stage to present the day’s honors. "This race is different from any other race in the world!" she said earlier. "It’s one big celebration from start to finish — a celebration that we can work hard to push our bodies and ourselves at age 40 and over."

Relaxation station: Complimentary post-race massages were a godsend for exhausted runners.

The half-marathon winners accepted their hard-earned awards. Teammates Jody Hawkins, 41 (far left), and Susan Loken, 44 (second from left), finished with the fastest combined times: 1:20:16 and 1:20:14, respectively. Caitlin Tormey, 24 (third from left), beat three-time MORE Marathon winner and course record holder Loken by just one second to win this year’s half with a time of 1:20:13. Also pictured: Alexis, Seymour, and NYRR’s Ann Hinegardner.

The top three marathon finishers celebrated their victories. Bottom row, from left: Winner Hodge (3:01:50); second-place finisher Susie Meyers-Kennedy, 42 (3:04:33); and third-place finisher Kelly Keeler Ramacier, 46 (3:04:50). Top row, from left: MORE Publisher Brenda Saget Darling, running legends Grete Waitz and Lynn Jennings, Meredith Publishing Director Jeannine Shao Collins, Alexis, Seymour, and trailblazing runner Kathrine Switzer.

Originally published on MORE.com, April 2008.

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