Most runners in the St. George Marathon say the finish line atmosphere at Vernon Worthen Park makes the entire race worth it.
Marathons test everyone involved, from runners to fans. But the finish line environment at the 35th annual St. George Marathon excited organizers as well, including St. George Mayor Dan McArthur.
“That the people can be at the finish line when the wheelchairs come across or the runners come across, it just adds to the atmosphere,” McArthur said.
One of the toughest parts of a marathon is crossing the finish line but some of the great crowds at Vernon Worthen Park helped the runners finish the 35th annual St. George Marathon in style.
Runner Jacob Barton described the crowd as an inspiration.
“I was hurting pretty bad the last three miles and that’s when the wall of people hit, and they just cheered me on the whole way in and that definitely helped, because I wanted to stop and walk a couple times,” Barton said.
Sometimes the hardest part of a marathon isn’t running, but watching. Often times fans and supporters go through much of the hardship of preparing for the race, like the runners themselves. Julie Cheney, who supported both her husband and daughter, expressed her pre-race angst as she watched her family members run.
“We were nervous for them this morning; I think more than they were,” Cheney said, “just to make sure they’re getting off and have everything they need.”
Jonathan Kotter of Provo, Utah, won this year’s marathon with a time of 2:24:23. Rosanna Lee, hailing from Mountain Green, Utah, won the award for fastest female runner, running the course in 2:44.