Park City Marathon wraps up No. 10
They say that there’s a first time for everything, and that certainly was true at the Park City Marathon. Even though the race celebrated its tenth anniversary the day was more about firsts.
It was the first time both race winners, Jed Burton of Salt Lake and Gina Hendrickson of Salem, had ever taken first place in a marathon. It was also the first time for a two-person relay category, and the first time the race had been run in August.
Burton who is trying to complete the Grand Slam, which includes five marathons all over the state, says that this course while challenging, was actually easier on his body than some of the others.
""The legs don’t hurt nearly as much"’ he said right after completing the race.
In fact, he said that during most of the race he felt like he was going faster than he actually was. The biggest challenges came on the uphill stretches midway through race, but the intermingled trails saved him from too much pain.
"I felt pretty good. That [miles] 13-17 is tough. It was pretty mean," said Burton, who finished in 2 hours, 50 minutes and nine seconds.
Burton said that running at altitude was also not as difficult as he had anticipated. He ran on the Rail Trail just once during his training, but managed to handle the course with no problems. He said that the smaller field of runners was also a plus.
"It also meant a slower field, which was good for me," he laughed.
The later date also offered the runners cooler weather and clear skies.
"It was a beautiful day on the course," Burton reported.
For Hendrickson, her 3:23.15 win marked another anniversary celebration. Just two years removed from her third ACL surgery, the young mother of two recently retuned to marathons this year and is hoping to complete the Grand Slam as well. Part of Hendrickson’s first place performance may have been due, in part, to the unique trail running features, which gave her knee a lot of rest.
"The trail was really nice — a nice break," Hendrickson said. "I thought I would feel it, but I really didn’t feel it all that much."
In the relay, the male duo of Adam Wende and Lion Gallegos of Salt Lake led the charge with a time of 2:32:10.6 and Simone Nixon of Park City and Alyson Zollinger combined to take first in the women’s field with a combined finish of 3:31:37.3. Parkites Larry Kase and Wendy Halliday won the combined relay with a time of 3:32:35.3. Steve Bowling won the men’s half marathon with a time of 1:34: 02.7. Heber’s Christine Gewin won the women’s half marathon, coming in with a 1:36:24.1 finish.
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