“Lincoln has such a great reputation, I had to run here, and I had a ball,” said Matt Dewald, a Vermillion, S.D., runner who won the men’s marathon in a near-record time of 2 hours, 25 minutes, 37 seconds. “The cops were great, the guy riding a bike alongside was phenomenal and this city made me feel like running my best,” Dewald said. The same feeling hit women’s marathon winner Ashley Tousley. “I had so much fun here,” the Des Moines, Iowa, native said. “Friends had been talking to me about running here, and it was perfect. I’ve been in the lead of the Des Moines marathon twice, but got sick both times and didn’t win. “This is my first win and I feel great. Must be my day and my kind of town,” said Tousley, who will graduate from Drake Law School in two weeks.I really enjoy being part of the crowds that watch the marathoners every year. This year The Wilsons sat on the curb outside LaMar's, munching on donuts. (Nope, I didn't feel so much as a twinge of guilt!) At that point, roughly 5.5 miles into the race, most of the runners were still capable of smiling. And there were lots of smiles. There was also a woman dressed like a cat, and a man running while carrying what appeared to be a very heavy hiking backpack. Odd! The decline in National Guard runners was noticeable; I remember seeing only one such runner. The Missus used to run the marathon so she knows plenty of regular runners. Unfortunately, a couple got shut out this year thanks to the record number of sign-ups. I wonder what can be done about that? The start could be staggered more, but that won't do any favors to Sunday morning traffic. Organizers could flip-flop the two halves of the race, but that would make the 1/2 marathon route the less scenic and varied portion of the race. I wonder if that would negatively affect sign-ups? Did any of you folks run in yesterday's race? Were any of you trapped for ages in traffic?