St. George • Fritz Van de Kamp was worried about his readiness for Saturday’s St. George Marathon because a nagging hamstring injury limited his preparation.
His concern was unfounded.
Van de Kamp pulled away from Iain Hunter and Jonathan Kotter over the final five miles to easily win his fourth marathon of the year.
Van de Kamp finished in 2 hours, 21 minutes, 14 seconds to beat Hunter and Kotter by just more than a minute. He added the St. George title to earlier wins in the Salt Lake City, Ogden and the Deseret News marathons.
“After [mile marker] 14, it was just me and Jon until 22 or 23,” Van de Kamp said. “Then I slowly inched away from him and just held on at the end.”
Van de Kamp suffered a hamstring injury shortly after winning the Deseret News Marathon on July 24. Although he did extensive cross-training to maintain his fitness, he ran only one 5K race before St. George.
“I wasn’t able to get in a good half marathon about two weeks before, like I usually do,” Van de Kamp said. “So I didn’t feel totally prepared. I went into this one a little more nervous and less confident than the others.”
Van de Kamp beat more than 6,000 runners in St. George.
“To win here is great,” he said, “because it’s such a big race and such a great event.”
In the women’s division, St. George’s Amber Green scored an emotional victory in 2:43 — five minutes better than her previous best time. “I wanted to break 2:45, and I’ve always had a dream of winning the St. George Marathon, to represent my city.”
Green entered her hometown marathon eight times before winning.
Last year, she suffered a stress fracture four miles into the race and pulled out near the halfway point.
“It was devastating,” said Green, who was motivated by the disappointment in 2011.
“This year I had a little bit of fuel under me. I wanted to finish what I started last year. So I had a lot of motivation, a lot of help from God and a lot of help from my family. They were so supportive of my training.”
Green, a mother of three young children, felt a power surge when she passed the place on the course where she pulled out of last year’s race.
“I thought, ‘Amber, this is where you get to fly,’ ” she said. “And I just took off. ... Yeah, there was a lot of extra energy at that point.”
Top five finishers
Men City Time
Fritz Van de Kamp Millcreek 2:21:14
Iain Hunter Provo 2:22:16
Jonathan Kotter Provo 2:22:45
Scott Keate Highland 2:22:53
Pepi Peterson Hudson, Mass. 2:23:29
Women City Time
Amber H Green St. George 2:43:00
Annie O’Donnell Upland, Calif. 2:52:19
Julie Thomas Salt Lake City 2:52:27
Katy Andrews Encinitas, Calif. 2:52:58
Arianne Brown Eagle Mountain 2:54:04