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Smyth, Dobson Capture 38th Canyonlands Half Marathon

March 17, 2013

A field of 3,189 runners completed the half-marathon with an additional 824 finishers completing the five mile run


MOAB, Utah - An overcast spring morning perfect for running played a large part in making the 38th edition Canyonlands Half Marathon and Five Mile Run an enjoyable experience for runners and spectators alike.   A field of 3,189 runners completed the half-marathon with an additional 824 finishers completing the five mile run.


There were many fast runners in the field, including participants from nearby Westminster College and Dine College. 


“We had a lot of people switch to the Five Mile at the last minute,” said Race Director Ranna Bieschke.  “I think the downgrade can largely be attributed to the cold temperatures that so many places experienced this winter affecting runners’ training regimens.”


The overall winner of the half-marathon was 26-year-old Patrick Smyth, a Westminster College track coach. Patrick finished ahead of the pack with a time of 1 hour, 9 minutes, 55 seconds, several minutes shy of the course record time 1:05:33 set in 1997. 

First place in the wheelchair race went to Russell McConahay of Salem, Utah with an astoundingly quick time of 54:27.  Marty Wacker, 42 of Grand Junction, Colo., who consistently competes in the Canyonlands Half Marathon, entered the Five Mile Run this year, sweeping the field with a time of 27:58. 


The women’s results were close again this year.  Kim Dobson, 28, of Grand Junction, Colo., won the women’s  half-marathon with a time of 1:20:32.  Kim finished just 20 seconds ahead of Autumn Ray, the 2012 Thelma & Louise Half-Marathon champion from Tucson, Ariz. .  Jana Peale, a 19-year-old student from Westminster College, took first in the Five Mile Run with a time of 34:07.


The overall Masters (40 years and older) winner was Walter Brown, 41 of South Jordan, Utah in 1:15:41.  The Sheri Haymore Female Masters award went to Julie Crossley, 44 of Pleasant Grove, Utah in 1:30:28.


The first Moab runners to finish the half marathon included Travis Holtby, 25, with a time of 1:21:31 and Lauren Atkinson, 30, in 1:37:26.  Other notable local runners included a trio in the Five Mile Run from the Grand County High School track team. Jacob Francis and Jackson Knowles, finished together in 30:32, and Joseph Andrew was 35 seconds behind them.


Supporting the thousands of runners was a volunteer and staff corps of over 450 individuals. 

“This event wouldn’t happen without the incredible support we get from our dedicated volunteers,” said  Bieschke. 

As always, extra effort was made this year to support the event’s full transition to compostable cups at every race location.  Cups were collected into green compostable bags and transported to a commercial composting facility in Grand Junction, Colo.  All other waste was sorted into trash, recyclables, and conventional compostables.


For more information about this and other Moab Half Marathon, Inc. events, visit


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