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Former champion Dave Berdan captures 2015 Baltimore Marathon

With cool weather greeting them, more than 20,000 runners take to the streets of Baltimore today for 15th running festival.

For the second time in three years, Owings Mills resident Dave Berdan is the Baltimore Marathon champion.

Berdan claimed this year's title today, completing the 26.2-mile course in 2 hours, 30 minutes, 22 seconds. The 34-year-old cross country coach and assistant track coach at Stevenson University won the 2013 race in 2:30:06.

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Caitlin Gaughan, 29, of Scranton, Pa., won the women's race in 2:58:12. It was her 10th marathon, but first time running in Baltimore.

Berdan had led for the first five miles of the race. But Brian Rosenberg, a 38-year-old accountant from Mechanicsburg, Pa., who won last year's marathon, passed Berdan shortly after emerging from the Baltimore Zoo.

The two ran side-by-side down St. Paul's Street before Berdan re-assumed the lead after the eighth mile. He increased his advantage over Rosenberg after circling UnderArmour's headquarters and passing the Inner Harbor and cruised to the finish line.

Berdan joins a group of runners who have won the Baltimore Running Festival twice. Erick Kimayo won in 2002 and 2003, John Itati in 2004 and 2007, and Stephen Muange in 2011 and 2012.

Berdan had held a commanding lead in the 2014 race, but was forced to withdraw due to injury. Had he won last year's marathon, Berdan would have been the first runner to capture three straight Baltimore Running Festival crowns.

Berdan leads at midpoint -- 10:15 a.m.

A familiar face is leading at the midpoint of the 15th Baltimore Running Festival.

Dave Berdan, the 2013 champion, has taken a 25-second lead over Brian Rosenberg, last year's winner, after mile 13 of the 26.2-mile course. Berdan was clocked at 1 hour, 14 minutes, 45 seconds at the halfway point.

Berdan, a 34-year-old Owings Mills resident who is the cross country coach and assistant track coach at Stevenson University, had led for the first five miles of the race. But Rosenberg, a 38-year-old accountant from Mechanicsburg, Pa., passed Berdan shortly after emerging from the Baltimore Zoo.

The two ran side-by-side down St. Paul's Street before Berdan re-assumed the lead after the eighth mile. He increased his advantage over Rosenberg after circling UnderArmour's headquarters and passing the Inner Harbor.

Race begins -- 8 a.m.

A chilly morning with temperatures in the high 40s greeted participants of the 15th annual Baltimore Running Festival, which began this morning at 8.

A bright sun was beginning to make an appearance, and organizers are hoping that it will warm up the runners along the 26.2-mile course that winds around Patterson Park in East Baltimore, loops around Lake Montebello in North Baltimore, and ends behind the Orioles' Camden Yards.

About 24,000 runners from all 50 states and 29 countries registered for the race. The field is a little smaller than usual, in part because of earlier civil unrest related to the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, but organizers said they don't expect any security issues.

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Brian Rosenberg of Mechanicsburg, Pa., won last year's marathon, finishing in 2 hours, 33 minutes, 27 seconds. Alex Wang, a University of Maryland graduate from Ellicott City, was the 2014 women's marathon champion, finishing in 2:58:41.

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