By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thousands of runners were on a 26.2 mile journey through the city Sunday, tackling the annual Philadelphia Marathon.

It was raining before the run kicked off at 7 a.m. along the Ben Franklin Parkway, but the sky cleared. The winds, however, kept blowing.

But that didn’t matter to Justin from Baltimore, running his very first marathon. His goal of finishing was enough motivation to overcome anything Mother Nature had to offer.

“Seeing that finish line. Knowing 26.2 miles,” he said. “If you would have asked me six or seven months ago, would you run a marathon, I would have told you you’re crazy.”

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And Justin had a plan for dealing with the heavy winds.

“Maybe I’ll find a runner around my pace and I’ll kind of drift behind them. Supposed to be headwinds,” he said. “I prefer tailwinds, but you get what you get on race day.”

For many, marathons are nothing new. But much like Justin, Robin from Stratford, New Jersey, was making her first go at it.

“I’ve just kind of built myself up from 5K runs to 10k runs to half-marathons,” she said, “and now I’m ready for my marathon.”

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Robin says she started running after she had kids as a way to get some alone time.

This year winner on the men’s side was Boniface Kongin of Kenya. He finished at 2 hours and 16 minutes.

The top female runner was Sarah Kiptoo, also of Kenya. She crossed the finish line at 2 hours and 38 minutes.