Hendersonville runner wins Country Music Marathon - WSMV Channel 4

Hendersonville runner wins Country Music Marathon

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Winner Scott Wietecha crosses the finish line. Winner Scott Wietecha crosses the finish line.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV-AP) -

Amid heavy security, about 30,000 participants from across the country braved wet weather to take part in the 14th annual St. Jude Country Music Marathon.  

Hendersonville's Scott Wietecha won with a time of 2 hours, 22 minutes, 41 seconds and became only the second American to win the race.  He finished second in the marathon two years ago.

Wietecha said he will competing in the U.S. Track & Field 25 km Championships in two weeks in Michigan. He said he was scheduled to run the Boston Marathon earlier this month but had to cancel his trip.

The race began at about 7:10 a.m.   Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline was played and a moment of silence was held to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

The winding 26.2-mile course started at Centennial Park, heads past Belmont University and the 12 South neighborhood, then turns north toward Metro Center.

Runners will then go back downtown past the state Capitol, cross the Cumberland River into East Nashville, visit Shelby Park and finish at LP Field.

Hundreds of law enforcement and security personnel made a presence along the route, and police say they planned for every contingency. The FBI has said there are no known security threats, but law enforcement is going to be vigilant in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings last week.

During the race, police responded to four suspicious package checks, all of which turned out to be harmless.

Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson thanked Music City for a safe event.

"The citizens of Nashville were vitally important to today's success. I thank them for their vigilance and strong support," he said.

The U.S. Postal Service announced this week that all mailboxes along the route will be blocked this weekend out of an abundance of caution following the Boston bombings.

Also, runners were provided with clear plastic bags to store their belongings in a way that police can see what they are carrying.

James Starr said he was ready to run the half-marathon and wasn't nervous after the Boston bombings.

"If something happens, something happens. I'm not worried about it," he said.

Inclement weather forced marathon organizers to call off the 2010 race with 2,000 people yet to reach the finish line. The office of emergency management will be monitoring the weather, and if lightning or other dangerous weather becomes a factor, marathon organizers already have shelters planned.

To see a full list of road closures during Saturday's marathon and half marathon, visit http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/nashville/road-closures.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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