Seven hundred and fifty.
That’s the number of chocolate milk cartons that were consumed during the Park City Marathon on Saturday morning. The success of the chocolate milk underlined the success on the course, as the race welcomed 955 runners for the annual marathon and half-marathon.
In fact, except for one sprained ankle on a divot in the road, which was newly made by construction workers, the event seemed to go off without a hitch. Both of last year’s marathon winners, Dave Spence and Kerilyn Hatch were back to defend their titles, and both barely missed repeat performances each finishing in second place.
Celebrating their first-ever marathon wins were Nathan Hornok and Darcie Gorman, both of Salt Lake.
Hornok, who runs for the Wasatch Running Center, beat the course record previously set by Spence by eight minutes, finishing in two hours, 41 minutes and 12.71 seconds. Spence also beat his own record finishing in 2:42:37.07. Hornok said that the secret to his success was maintaining a consistent speed along the course.
The win was a first for the 30-year-old Hornok, who had not run a marathon since the Top of Utah Marathon two years ago. Hornok praised the Park City course, saying that beautiful scenery helped to distract him from the hard work his legs were doing. He was also cheered on at every turn by his family who followed him to various water stations and his brother who stayed close by him during the run on a bike.
Gorman, 33, also said it was a great course with plenty of trails to make it easier on the knees.
This was a first-ever win for Gorman, who ran the Salt Lake Marathon this past spring. Gorman didn’t pass Hatch until mile 24 and figured she would surely catch up to her before the finish line. But Gorman kept the lead and finished in three hours, 17 minutes and 29.67 seconds, just one minute shy of Hatch’s record-setting time last year. Gorman said she steadily increased her speed to capture the victory.
"I tried to take it easy in the beginning and save it for the down," Gorman said.
The half and full marathons welcomed racers from all the globe including 35 different states as well as Australia and Canada. Although the bulk of the race is generally filled by runners from the Wasatch Front, McTavish said outside interest continues to grow. Marathon organizers actually had to cap this year’s registrants, after the race’s popularity drew over 1,000 people last year, who all tried to cram on Park City’s narrow trails.
McTavish said that one of the highlights of the event was the Japanese taiko drum group stationed out on the race course that warned runners and drivers alike to respect one another.
"My neighbor said the beat of the drum kept you going," McTavish said. "And it’s great because it shows the diversity we have here in Utah."
McTavish also praised the efforts of the volunteers. This year, she had 150 volunteers helping during the race, another new record for the event.
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Park City officials are preparing to take what is considered to be an important step in protecting the Treasure land from wildfires. City Hall in early June requested proposals from firms interested in the work.