Bryant Jensen, winner of the St. George Half Marathon, St. George, Utah, Jan. 18, 2014 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George Utah
ST. GEORGE – The St. George Half Marathon and accompanying expo, held Friday and Saturday at the Dixie Center, was a fun-filled event that drew families from far and wide, reminding the community why it’s a local tradition.
Among them was Trevor Horrocks, who brought his children — aged 6, 4, 2 and 8 months — to cheer on wife and mom Candice Horrocks, who ran in memory of her father. Before his death in a car accident in 2001, he inspired his entire family to stay active and run.
“It means a lot. Her family was all about running,” Trevor Horrocks said. “The family always runs to remember him. It’s pretty awesome.”
The drive from Page, Ariz., went smoothly for the family, but the cold on race morning was an unpleasant surprise. After watching the start, Trevor Horrocks led his little ones back inside to find warmth.
“We didn’t expect it to be so freezing,” he said. “My kids are all under the age of 7. That threw a wrench into our system.”
The St. George Half Marathon holds meaning for many people. Some simply enjoy the activity and camaraderie; others crave the feeling of accomplishment. Runners from the American Flyers Race Pacers helped athletes reach their goal times; races were paced to 1:25, 1:30, 1:35, 1:40, 1:45, 1:50, 1:55, 2:00, 2:10, 2:20 and 2:30.
There was also a 5K for adults not quite up to running the full event, and a Tuff Kids Run.
At the aid stations, runners were handed refreshments by volunteers, including students from Eagle Ranch Academy.
“It’s really friendly. I didn’t think it would be this friendly,” Sara Bent. 15, said. “It’s nice. It’s my first time volunteering for a race. It’s kind of nice to do service. It makes you feel good.”
Among the 2,114 registered runners were Kent Perkins, director of St. George Leisure Services, singer-songwriter Lyndy Butler and the family of late triathlete Braydon Nielsen.
Bryant Jensen, 30, of Farr West, Utah, took first place with an official time of 1:07:34. Jensen, who currently holds the course record for the St. George Marathon, is preparing for the Boston Marathon in April.
“It went just as expected, pretty much,” he said. “I wanted to go under 1 hour, 8 minutes, which is about 5 minutes, 10 seconds per mile and I was able to do that. I didn’t have any mishaps.”
“I am excited for him,” his wife, Lisa Jensen, said. “It’s fun to come and support him and he did really great today.”
Kathryn Harmon, 30, of Salt Lake City, was the first female runner to cross the finish line, with an official time of 1:18:55.
“It was fun. It was a really tough course,” she said. “But it’s beautiful out here. It’s so nice in St. George. It’s a good 30 degrees warmer (than home).”
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Natalie Barrett can, in one day, help her husband get out the door to med school, write a story on a crash on the interstate, feed her daughter baby food, prepare for a Southern Utah foot race and kiss bruised ankles after gymnastics lessons. Natalie received her bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Brigham Young University in 2011.