RALEIGH, NC (WWBT) - Saturday will see more winners added to the fraternity of victorious runners at the Richmond Marathon. David Ruggles started that list.
David won the inaugural Richmond Marathon back in 1978. He was one of just under 1,200 runners to start the race on an October Sunday. Despite four decades passing, Ruggles still remembers details from the race vividly. He recalls being in third place through most of the races middle stages, catching the final two runners at miles 20 and 21, and adrenaline taking over during the final stretch. He says he had to grind out those final five miles, but the excitement of being in first place really helped drive him to the finish line.
That day in 1978 marked Ruggles first marathon, as well, and he says it was not only one of the fondest memories of his running career, but also one of his life's greatest moments. He doesn't run competitively anymore, but after his victory in Richmond, he ran the marathon in the River City a few more times, as well as the Boston Marathon. 40 years later, he'll run some road races, but just for fun.
Ruggles moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, five years after his win in Richmond. He still lives there today, but says he keeps up with how the Richmond Marathon goes annually.