Thousands of runners gathered for the 43rd annual St. George Marathon on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. The race started at 6:45 a.m. in the mountains of Pine Valley, Utah and ended at Vernon Worthen Park in St. George.
The St. George Marathon favored by runners worldwide for its scenery. This year, runners that participated in the St. George Marathon ranged from ages 10 to 80 years old with 3,966 runners participating.
For male placement, Jonathan B. Kotter from Holladay, Utah took first with a time of 2:18:07. Sylvia A. Bedford of South Jordan, Utah took first in the female division with a time of 2:34:18.
The St. George Marathon, voted by Runners World as one of the 10 Most Scenic and Fastest Marathons and Top 20 Marathons in the USA, is 26.2 miles, but descends 2,600 feet. The runners weave through mountains, fields, and small towns before reaching their destination.
Southern Utah University had several students who participated in the marathon this year. Two of those participants are sisters, Jaylee and Shellbe Watson.
“It’s always been a bucket list item for me,” Jaylee said. “It’s not just about the race and crossing the finish line, but enjoying the whole journey and the process of preparing.”
Shellbe Watson, a senior in the SUU nursing program, agreed that it was an incredibly meaningful experience. She likened it to a broader scale to any type of goal a person can have in life.
“Honestly, we can do whatever we set our minds to, and I feel like that can apply to every aspect of life,” said Shellbe.
The City of St. George also gives other community members the opportunity to cross the finish line without running the 26.2 miles. These community members can participate through the Fun Run Walk N’ Roll, which is divided into two groups. The kids division is open to children ages 2-18, and the adaptive division is open to persons of all ages with disabilities.
There is also a Mayor’s Walk, where people can walk right behind the St. George Mayor, Jon Pike, for two miles to the marathon finish.
The St. George Marathon and the other associated races are open to the public. There is something for everyone, whether you’re a runner or a supporter.
Story By: Moriah Spainhower
Photos Courtesy of: stgeorgemarathon.com and Moriah Spainhower