YONKERS, N.Y. -- Yonkers was at the center of the running world Sunday with the annual Yonkers Marathon.
The Yonkers Marathon is the second oldest marathon in the country, behind Boston, and it brought thousands into downtown Yonkers, near the waterfront, to cheer runners on, as they ran half and full marathons.
"Yonkers has a rich history and we celebrate our traditions," Mayor Mike Spano.
Spano referred to the marathon as a "marathoner's marathon," noting its difficult course with many hills.
Because of the Boston Marathon bombing, security for the marathon has been a priority. Yonkers Police were seemingly everywhere and Spano said they had been coordinating with other agencies.
"Everyone is prepared," Spano said early in the day. "We don't anticipate anything happening today. The weather is beautiful and everyone is excited."
Councilman Michael Sabatino said it was a great day for Yonkers as it allowed people to see the progress Yonkers has made, particularly at the waterfront..
"It's very important people see the development and the great restaurants we have," Sabatino said.
John Rubbo of Yonkers Brewing Company was serving $1 beers to runners at the Dolphin Cafe after the race.
"This is a great celebration of what the city has to offer and to have these people here," Rubbo said. "This is the city I grew up in. It means so much to me."
Daniel Schlich, a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, was the winner of the half marathon. In training for the Chicago marathon, West Point's track team ran the half marathon.
"It feels really great," Schlich, a native of Steubensville, Ohio said. "It's a challenging course. It means a lot to represent West Point, it's a great institution. I want to represent my country and do the best job I can."
Oz Pearlman, a 31-year old from Manhattan, won the marathon in 2:35:50.
"It feels terrific," Pearlman said. "I do a lot of running here."
Pearlman said it was a challenging course, but a pretty one.
"You have those moments," Pearlman said. "I needed a good time before I run a marathon in Hartford. I enjoy sharing the course with dudes like me. It's a hardcore group."
Pearlman said the hardest run he did was 135 miles in Death Valley in 125-degree weather.
Spano estimated that 1,200 people ran the marathon. Add the number of fans cheering them on, and attendance was in the thousands.