The long run: U students, community members participate in second SLC Marathon

By and

Saturday was the day for which many marathoners, including several U students, had prepared themselves for months.

The second annual Salt Lake City Marathon and 5K took place, and participants seemed to enjoy it.

“It was really well done, I think. It was well organized and they had a lot of sponsors that pitched in,” said Justin Francom, a U student that ran in the 5K.

Chris Zawislak is a U student who ran in his third-ever marathon. He participated in last year’s Salt Lake City Marathon, and he thought this year’s race was better than last year’s.

“It was just a nicer day outside. It was a beautiful day,” Zawislak said.

The marathon began on campus at the Olympic Legacy Bridge and the 5K started at Liberty Park. At the Legacy Bridge, more than 3,000 marathoners filled the street waiting for the race to begin at 7 a.m. With the sound of a gun, they were off. Runners made their way south, winding through streets and neighborhoods down to 6200 South, where the course turned northward and headed toward downtown.

All along the streets, crowds gathered to cheer on the runners.

“Go Daddy” signs were not in short supply and many people encouraged family and friends with inspirational signs like, “Many people dream of doing great things while others wake up and go do them.” Many residents sat on their porches cheering on the runners.

Zawislak has also run in the Philadelphia Marathon, but says he prefers this marathon.

“Of the two separate marathons I have run in, this is the best. Just the course, it’s beautiful. It takes you through nice neighborhoods, and you’re not just running through a city the whole time,” Zawislak said.

As the runners came north, they ran through Liberty Park and into downtown. They entered The Gateway where thousands of spectators gathered to watch them finish.

Both the marathoners and 5K runners finished at The Gateway in an exciting atmosphere.

“It was good to be there. It was a good accomplishment. It was just kind of exciting to see all the people. It was huge,” Francom said.

The men’s marathon winner was Araya Haregot of Ethiopia. He set a new course record with a time of 2:15:14.

At the awards ceremony Saturday night, Haregot thanked the crowd for their support and commented on how great this place was and how nice people are here.

Dorota Gruca won the women’s division, finishing in 2:30:08.

For most runners it’s not as important how fast they do it, but just that they finish the race. That is what brings a great sense of satisfaction.

“I enjoy it. It’s meeting something that most people don’t do,” Zawislak said. He finishing time was 3:53:00.

“A marathon is like a roller coaster. You’re scared when you’re going through it but when you’re done it’s like, weeeeeeee,” Zawislak said.

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