Mammoth Marathon runs through the Swell
The Little Grand Canyon Marathon made its initial run through Emery County on Sept 13. It was made possible by Mammoth Marathons. They are a non-profit organization made up of three race directors and multiple volunteers. The SUN center, CEU Prehistoric Museum, Carbon and Emery counties came together to assist with the first race through the scenic San Rafael.
The Little Grand Canyon Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K are all USATF Certified (requirement to qualify for the Boston Marathon).
The race was geared to runners who enjoy the remote locations and not those who clamor for large crowds in large cities.
All winners received a free shirt and an authentic finishing medal after the race. Awards were give to the top three finishers men and women in each race.
In the 10K the top finisher was Joshua Taylor with a time of 48:20. Second place was Doug Mackay with a time of 49:33. In third place was Ashley Bracken with a time of 53:40.
In the half marathon Matthew Bonner was first with a time of 1:34:59; William Nielsen second with a time of 1:36:17; and Mark Vlasic was third with a time of 1:36:26.
In the marathon, Dane Rauschenberg finished first with a time of 3:05:28; James Winfield was second with a time of 3:10:28 and Siming Li was third with a time of 3:10:29.
Event organizer Dwayne Huffaker said, "Overall the event was a great success. We had many more runners than we ever dreamed we would. People traveled from all over the country and Canada to participate in this event. More than 40 percent of our runners came from outside the state of Utah.
"The weather was perfect and the support from the volunteers was amazing. We owe a huge thanks to Sheriff Guymon and his posse, the CEU Prehistoric Museum, Carbon and Emery counties, and also the many local businesses for their donations. We've heard nothing but compliments from the runners about how beautiful the course is, how well supported the race was, and how friendly the volunteers were. Most runners we spoke with after the race already have plans to come again.
"As the race directors, we had a great time hosting this event. It takes a lot of time and hard work to organize, but race day makes it all worth it. We love meeting the participants and feeling their enthusiasm and excitement. We look forward to making the Little Grand Canyon Marathon a yearly tradition. We had 126 run the marathon, 195 run the half marathon, and 44 run the 10K. The other two race directors are Jared Haddock and Cory Haddock," said Huffaker.
"Everyone did a good job and I was impressed by how you all handled the logistics of Buckhorn Wash. I've been traveling to the San Rafael Swell regularly for the last 20 years and I was curious to see how you would pull this off. Great job to everyone involved, you pretty much nailed it. I can't wait for next year. Cheers," said Doug Mackay of Salt Lake City.
"This marathon was my first-at age 54. What a delight. I had a great time. You did a great job. I especially liked all of the aid stations and port-a-potties. That was really a good thing. I didn't finish soon enough to attend the Luau and I was sorry that I couldn't participate in that but maybe next time I'll finish faster. The buses were nice. I'm used to school buses in the half-marathons that I have participated in. Even though they were late, that wasn't your fault. Thanks for making your first Little Grand Canyon Marathon such a memorable experience for my first marathon. Keep up the good work...hope to see you next year. Thanks so much," said Connie Haycock.
"Thank you for a great event. What a beautiful course. The meal was awesome. The volunteers great. Next year I will be back and be able to do the half," stated Marjorie Mullaly.