Some people screamed. Some cursed. Some just leaned on their horns. But what ever they did they were not pleased to have their cars stopped as 2,655 marathoners took over several major Washington arteries yesterday morning.

By 10 a.m. the runners, who had begun their 26-mile trek at the Iwo Jima Memorial, were strung out along Constitution Avenue NW headed east toward the Capitol.

The thundering herd, with the help of U.S. Park and D.C. Police, blocked traffic at every intersection it passed, like 12th and Constitution at about 10:05 a.m.

Although U.S. Park Police officials later said the delays at any given intersection only last 10 to 15 minutes, officers on the scene at 12th and Constitution were warning motorists, many whom appeared to be dressed for church, that the race might hold them up for as long as an hour.

While parents grumbled and complained, most of their children seemed to be enjoying the excuse to miss Sunday School.

After about a 25-minutes attempt to hold back the steel and rubber tide for the human one, Police began reouting traffic. By then, however, side streets also were backed up and the detours were as crowded as the main routes.

As soon as the group of runners thinned out, police began letting the waiting autos trickle through the race, and the traffic scene returned to normal.