Victory is sweet for Mid Mountain Marathon winners
The taste of victory is often said to be sweet, but those seeking confirmation can ask the winners of the Mid Mountain Marathon.
All six male and female victors received one of Windy Ridge Bakery’s 11-inch deep dish pies, which serve eight to 10 people, according to the bakery’s website, for winning the Mountain Trails Foundation’s final foot race of the season on Saturday. But for Mickey Wilson of Heber and Park City’s own Natalie Como, the pies were one part of a larger gift bag given out for winning the Triple Trail Challenge – the overall race which the Mountain Trails series composes.
With Saturday’s success, Wilson won the Mid Mountain Marathon for the first time, earned his first ever marathon win, and also won the Triple Trail Challenge.
Though the winner of the Triple Trail Challenge is determined by adding each racer’s times across Mountain Trails’ summer foot races, Wilson won overall and swept first place in each race. He won the 13.1-mile Round Valley Rambler by finishing in 1 hour, 28 minutes and 24 seconds; the 16-mile Jupiter Peak Steeplechase in 2:01:19; and the Mid Mountain Marathon in 3:08:46. In total, he ran 55.3 miles in 6:38:29.
“Around mile eight I started getting a little fatigued,” Wilson said of the Mid Mountain Marathon. “But I was thinking about running not to lose the race, and I had to change my mindset to run to win. That switches the focus from running out of fear to running out of competitiveness and running the best you can.”
He started trying to catch the pacers, who rode ahead on mountain bikes, and finished eight minutes ahead of the men’s runner up, John Venner.
“It was a pretty good gap, but you just always want to run your best race and not worry about who’s behind you and what the finishing time is, as long as you get the W,” Wilson said.
For his wins over the series, Wilson received a backpack, two pairs of shoes, and a massive pie which was baked into a commemorative pan.
Wilson said he would likely eat the whole thing himself, which would be a different type of marathon.
“My wife tries to stay away from sweets, so I might have to try and take this on alone,” he said.
Next, he plans on running the Huntsville Half Marathon, the Snow Canyon Half Marathon in St. George and the Onward Shay in Boise, Idaho, where he hopes to trim his half marathon time to below 1 hour, 10 minutes.
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Wilson’s counterpart, Parkite Natalie Como, did not earn her enormous pastry by taking first in the Mid Mountain Marathon which she finished in 3:46:36. She took second behind Salt Lake City’s Katherine Pagano. Nor did she win the Jupiter Peak Steeplechase. She took second after finishing with a time of 2:33:36 behind Holly Hagerman of Brighton, who had just turned 50 and put up a time of 02:25:03.6. She did, however, win the Round Valley Rambler, which she finished in 01:44:51.3.
But her aggregate time was still the fastest out of all female competitors and secured first place for Como for the second consecutive year.
“I’m excited about the pie most of all,” Como said. “It’s the biggest pie I’ve ever seen and it was very delicious last year.”
After winning the series last season, she shared the pie with her boyfriend, who, along with his family, ran the Mid Mountain Marathon with her this year.
“I would love to be able to finish that myself but it’s huge and I don’t think I could,” she said.
Como finished all three races in 8:05:03 and plans to run the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 7.
For a full list of results go to mountaintrails.org/race-results/.
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Returning to Park City’s Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church on Saturday is the annual Bike and Hike fundraiser in support of the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry.