HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The Rocket City Marathon is celebrating over four decades this year and hundreds of people woke up at the crack of dawn to run throughout the city of Huntsville.
The Huntsville Track Club presented the Rocket City Marathon along with Half the Marathon, Kid's Marathon, and a brand new Marathon Relay on Saturday.
The marathon has been a fixture in North Alabama for over 40 years. The 26.2 mile, Boston Marathon qualifying course, ran through parts of historic Huntsville, through the Space and Rocket Center, through the Botanical Gardens, and finished inside the Von Braun Center.
Some runners are setting high goals for their finish time.
- Kavan Ogletree: "2 hours and 59 minutes."
- Margaret Fitch: "I would love to break 3:30 to qualify for Boston. We'll see... but that's my hope."
The Rocket City Marathon brings people from all different running backgrounds and running plans.
"I'll see some of my cadence mates at the starting line, maybe hang with them for a while in the beginning, and then... figure the rest out by myself," says Ogletree.
"I've picked 26 different people to pray for each mile," says Fitch.
One spectator says the chilly weather made him consider running in the race to get some warmth. "Once the adrenaline is going, I know they'll start to feel a little bit better but this wind goes right through you so I think I might just join the race actually," says Anthony Bolus.
Plenty of runners and spectators came out to celebrate the 44th annual Rocket City Marathon but that's not the only thing to celebrate... it's also Alabama's bicentennial. The best way to celebrate -- running in an Alabama city you love.
"I'm just excited to be here," says Ogletree. "I love the city of Huntsville. Redstone Arsenal is really big around here and the Space and Rocket Center, the Von Braun Center."
Bicentennial celebrations will continue with a big parade in downtown Montgomery.