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The City Journals

South Jordan Marathon successful in its seventh year

Oct 28, 2016 01:13PM ● By Billy Swartzfager

SoJo 2-2016 South Jordan Marathon top female runners

By Billy Swartzfager | [email protected]

South Jordan, Utah - The seventh annual South Jordan Marathon was Oct. 15, and there were close to 1,200 participants running, walking and biking in this year’s festivities. The event, though certainly a marathon, also includes a 5k, a bike tour, a half-marathon and a kids’ fun run. There were also vendors, booths, massages and a DJ near the finish line.

According to Tina Brown, South Jordan communications coordinator, the event has gotten bigger every year for the previous several years. 

“We tend to see an increase every year,” she said. “Last year we had 1,000 runners.”

The race is a big one in South Jordan, as many people look forward to and prepare for the event the entire year. The South Jordan Marathon is also a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon, so there are people who end up coming to South Jordan from close by and the other side of the world. 

“South Jordan isn’t too far away for most Utahns to run a Boston qualifier,” Brown said. “And, last year someone came from China just to run.”

The marathon in South Jordan is a community event for those participating as well as others in the community getting to know each other and lending support where needed. The organizers of the race encourage a large cheering section. 

South Jordan offers many recreation experiences, something Brown said many in the community want and ask for regularly. The marathon is the cap on a season of running because of the demand. South Jordan offers a themed race series through spring and summer, and many residents sign up to get themselves into shape, physically and mentally, for the big, annual 26.2-mile experience.

“The themed race series is a great place to start to build up to the marathon—a good place to start and earn some medals on the way,” Brown said.

Most runners who have participated in the South Jordan Marathon seem to truly like the route and everything that comes with it. City officials have done a bit of work to enhance the experience every year for all involved: the runners, the spectators and those who don’t participate at all. City leaders conduct focus groups annually to make as many improvements as they can.

“We use those groups to build on the success of the last race,” Brown said. “We really want to keep the inconvenience to a minimum.”

The route is unique as well. Those responsible have spent a lot of time adding variety to the course, including a lot of hills and downhills too. That unique approach and the festivities seem to be why many runners come back year after year, and they are bringing other people along with them. 

“I love the half-marathon course,” Netti Chalmers, a half-marathon participant this year, said. “They are very organized and make it fun.”

The results of this year’s race were impressive. The leaders for the full marathon were Jason Holt, whose two hours,37 minute finish was the top overall time.  He was followed closely by Jason Howe who finished at two hours,48 minutes. Lauren McGee was the ftop finisher in the women’s division with a time of three hours, 14 minutes.  

 The half-marathon leaders were Nathan Hornock, one hour, 10 minutes and Ethan Risssell, 1 hour 11 minutes. The 5K leaders were Tim Harker, who came in at just over 17 minutes and Ashton Freimuth, who came in just under 21 minutes.