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Thousands compete in Macon's annual Labor Day Road Race

Thousands compete in Macon's annual Labor Day Road Race / Emily Swecker (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- Thousands of people participated in the Labor Day Road Race in Macon Monday morning.

The race has been drawing in diverse crowds for over 40 years now, with runners ranging from 8 years old to 88.

It may have been runner Justin Wachtel's first Road Race, but it didn't stop him from being the first runner to cross the 5K finish line.

"I've always done a lot better whenever I'm running with just as good of runners if not better and just--the competition pushed me," he said.

The competition he was referring to was Matt Triick and Allen Black, who were just seconds behind him. But it wasn't Wachtel the long-time friends were competing against, it was each other.

"We definitely play the tactics game, you know, we'll talk and talk back and forth and try to build this up, but realistically when it comes to race day or even a day out from race day, we go silent. I mean when we're lined up at the start line we'll shake hands but during the race I'm trying to do everything I can to get into his head," they said.

But for some, like Larry Lancaster, winning isn't everything.

"I keep coming back because I'd like to see more amputees out," he said. "They can run--all they got to do is get out there and do it."

Whether it's due to a competitive nature or just pure enjoyment, these runners say they will be back again next year.

The winners of Monday's Labor Day Road Race are as follows:

Male 5K winner--Justin Wachtel from Forsyth. Time: 15:17
Female 5K winner--Erin Leonard from Jones County. Time: 17:30

Male 10K winner--Troup Kirkus from Kennesaw. Time: 37:58
Female 10K winner--Megan Sapp from Macon. Time: 43:47

Male Fun Run winner--Antonio Gonzalez, 9.
Female Run Run winner--Jasmine King, 12.

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