Guiles and Prufer win five mile event; half-marathon participants contend with heavy winds
MOAB, Utah - The 39th Canyonlands Half Marathon and 5 Mile race ran smoothly on Saturday, March 15, 2014, resulting in 3,700 finishers. The event, which fills local motels and restaurants, is an unofficial marker for the start of “the season” in Moab.
With the temperatures in the low 40’s at the start, the runners warmed up quickly as they ran alongside towering canyon walls on a winding course down the Colorado River to Swanny City Park in downtown Moab.
The course is a favorite among many, with the river paralleling the course. Enthusiastic aid stations cheer on runners, and Taiko Drummers provide a boost of motivation. Participant Stephanie Herbst of Durango, Colo. described the course as “amazing and beautiful.” Marc Irwin of Farmington, New Mexico, a first place finisher in his age group, said: “It’s really our favorite race. It’s well organized and it’s like they enjoy having runners come.” The Taiko Drummers “are always awesome” according to Noemi Gay from Salt Lake.
Despite wind gusts up to 38 mph and a challenging headwind at mile nine on an uphill climb, runners thanked the wind at their back for the last two miles. According to Bruce Lambert from Berthoud, Colo., who ran the half marathon for the first time, he didn’t let the wind stop him from having a great race. “It’s a beautiful course and the tailwind at the end was nice. The race is very well managed and it’s a nice set up,” he commented.
Finishers were greeted with a unique finisher medal, fresh baked cookies, fruit, chocolate milk, and other items to help them refuel.
The 5 Mile first male finisher, Ashi Guiles, crossed the finish line in 25:57 and the 5 Mile first female finisher, Lauren Prufer, won with a time of 30:49.
In the half-marathon, elite runner and Utah resident Patrick Smyth crossed the finish line in 1:07:41. The first overall female, Malia Mullen, finished in 1:24:05. Wheelchair participant John Brewer finished with a time of 1:21:10.
Participants and spectators enjoyed delicious beer from the Moab Brewery and live music from the Eric Jones Trio. Vendors offered participants shaved ice, cupcakes, hot dogs, apparel and race memorabilia.
The 40th anniversary Canyonlands Half Marathon and 5 Mile is set for Saturday, March 21, 2015.
For results and more race information visit www.moabhalfmarathon.com