Top of Utah Marathon underway

Timothy Dunn didn’t intend to find a hobby when he started running to lose weight, but he quickly grew to love the challenge. He set goals for himself; first a 5k, then a 10k, triathlon and half marathon.”It’s almost a high in a sense. You feel like you accomplished something when you run,” Dunn said.Today is the day. One year and 80 pounds after starting his weight loss journey, Dunn will join around 2,340 other runners for the Top of Utah Marathon Sept. 17. Also among the runners will be Paul Petersen, who was the third fastest American in the Boston Marathon in April and is trying to make the U.S. Olympic team. The Top of Utah Marathon course starts at Hardware Ranch in Blacksmith Fork Canyon and ends at the Merlin Olsen Park in Logan. The 26-mile course is mostly downhill, making it faster than most marathons. When the race ends, each runner will receive a long-sleeved shirt and a winner’s medallion. Drivers should note the road up Blacksmith Fork Canyon will be closed from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. due to the race. Also, the parking lane on the East side of Main Street will be closed during this time in order to accommodate the runners, though no lanes of traffic will be blocked off. Todd Hugie has been involved in planning and carrying out the marathons since day one more than 13 years ago. After a year of planning, the first race took place in 1999 and Hugie said the race has grown and changed since. Now in its thirteenth year, event organizers know how to create a more efficient race.”I think the biggest success is that runners love the Top of Utah Marathon,” Hugie said. “We’re known for a really good quality race and good organization.”Race organizers try to keep as much business local as possible. From equipment to supplies, even to which bands play as the runners cross the finish line, the planners try to spend as much of their organization budget in Cache Valley if they can. From Olympic hopefuls to runners who are 40 pounds overweight, Hugie said this marathon gets a variety of runners. Hugie invites everyone to watch the race because watching this marathon is ” more entertaining than a football game.”-

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