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The 43rd edition of the St. George Marathon saw a windy morning with fast breezes and even faster times.
Thousands made their way down from Central Junction and through Veyo all the way down to Vernon Worthen Park in St. George to test themselves against the elements and themselves.
Jonathan Kotter won the men's side of the marathon for the second year in a row, finishing with a time of 2:18:06, while three-time St. George Marathon winner Aaron Metler finished second in 2:19:45.
"The weather overall was great because it was very cool which is perfect for marathon running and dry which is nice," Kotter said. "There was a nice tailwind for about five minutes and then we had a headwind so it was swirly a little bit."
Kotter is no stranger to the course after winning with a faster time of 2:16:17 in rainy conditions last year.
"Winning is always super fun because St. George is arguably the most competitive race in Utah so anytime you can win is a lot of fun because there's a lot of good runners out there," Kotter said.
Metler, who won the race in 2010, 2014 and 2015, crossed the line in second place this year as the highest local finisher.
As a St. George resident, he says this race is always been special for him no matter where he finishes.
"Living in this community and being the local guy is an unforgettable experience," Metler said. "I run it every year for the crowd, the people here and the community. It's the best marathon."
On the women's side, Sylvia Bedford not only won for the second year in a row but set a women's course record in the process with a time of 2:34:18.
Bedford smashed Deeja Youngquist's previous women's record of 2:36:06 set in 2007 by almost a full two minutes.
"It felt so nice to get the course record, that was kind of my goal and I was happy that the win came along with that so it felt awesome," Bedford said.
Bedford has improved both her times and results each year she has run the marathon, going from eighth place in 2016 to fourth place in 2017 to winning in the last two years and finishing with a course record this year.
Still, she says that this year's race was a little difficult for her coming down towards St. George for the final few miles.(10/07/2019) ⚡AMP
Rated by Runner's World as one of the four "Marathons to Build a Vacation Around" in the World. Included in Runner`s World 10 Most Scenic and Fastest Marathons and Top 20 Marathons in the USA. It begins in the majestic Pine Valley mountains and descends nearly 2600 feet through scenic southwest Utah, to the beautiful Worthen Park. The St. George...more...