Click photo to enlarge
Michael Porter (center) runs the 2013 Park City Marathon with his sons Matt Porter (left) and Nathan Porter for the first time Saturday, August 17. Michael Porter has run the marathon every year since it began. Christopher Reeves/The Park Record

A couple months ago, 45-year-old Marti Schuham, who lives in Park City part-time, didn't know if she was going to be able to defend her women's overall title in the Park City Marathon.

She had suffered an injury earlier in the summer that put her status for the marathon in doubt.

"I had a stress fracture in my left foot from May until the end of June, so that cut into my training," she said. "I had to work really hard to get back to where I was."

She credits her friends Linda and Charlie Graves, owners of Athletic Republic, for helping her not only prepare for the Aug. 17 event, but also win the overall women's title and set a new record (3 hours, 9 minutes, 54.2 seconds) in the women's 45-49 age group.

"They helped me so much when I was injured," she said. "I had seven weeks where I couldn't run. They worked on all my strength around my injury without doing any impact exercises on my left foot."

Schuham, who also lives in Chicago part-time and has run in events like the Chicago Marathon and the New York City Marathon, said she really enjoys running in the Park City Marathon.

"I like that it's so low key," she said. "All the big ones that I've done, there are so many rules and they're so strict. Everyone here is so nice. And running in the mountains you can't beat that."

Parkite Danny Connolly, who also competed in the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase earlier this month, said the trail for the Park City Marathon is beautiful, but challenging.

"I shaved eight minutes off my time from last year (in the Steeplechase), so, based on that, I was hoping to shave some time off the 2:51:00 that I ran last year (at the Park City Marathon)," he said. "But man, this course always proves to be brutal."

The Park City Marathon is a road marathon, beginning and ending in Newpark Plaza and winding through the town.

After finishing with a time of 2:55:08.0 this year, Connolly pointed to a particularly tough stretch that included running up Main Street as one of his problem areas.

"You would think you could do a negative split (running progressively faster as the race goes on)," he said. "But the harder stuff is later in the race. From mile 14 to 18, that can wipe anybody out."

Still, Connolly is looking forward to the Mid Mountain Marathon on Sept. 7, which will finish off the Mountain Trails Foundation's Triple Trail Challenge (combining the results of the Steeplechase, Park City Marathon and Mid Mountain Marathon).

"I've never broken three hours on a trail marathon," he said. "So I think that's my goal. I like that whole scenic trail."

Fritz Van de Kamp of Salt Lake City won the men's overall title, finishing the marathon with a time of 2:39:36.6.

Salt Lake City resident Peter Eischeid, who is relatively new to the world of marathons, said he'll try to do better than his 3:14:18.2 time next year.

"I beat my goal of 3:20," he said. "But it was only my second-ever marathon, so I have a lot to learn still. I'll definitely come back next year, but I think I'll do a little more training."

Since the director of product management at backcountry.com commutes to Park City for work most days, he'll have plenty of chances to get on the local trails.

"I do a lot of trail running in the area," he said. "I love the trails up here and the environment up here. The community support is awesome. It's definitely a really good feel when you come to Park City."

See the full results of the Park City Marathon in the scoreboard section on B-5.