St. George Marathon a sentimental journey for winners
St. George • The 37th annual St. George Marathon became a sentimental journey for its winners Saturday.
• Overall winner Bryant Jensen of Ogden set a new course record of 2 hours, 15 minutes, 58 seconds just two weeks after he was married.
• Women's winner Rosy Lee of Mountain Green, Utah, prevailed in 2:37.09 in her first marathon since having a baby nine months ago.
• Hand-crack division winner Jerry Young of Providence, Utah, avenged a second-place finish a year ago, when mechanical issues cost him a shot at victory.
Jensen, a Fremont High and Weber State graduate, led almost all the way and shattered the previous St. George Marathon record of 2:16.42.
"It went exceptional," Jensen said. "The first mile I felt pretty good I ran with a few guys the first three miles. Then after that, I just kept going. I had nobody with me."
Jensen began running marathons in 2009, after he finished at Weber State. But he called this year "a breakthrough" because he also won the Salt Lake, Ogden, Utah Valley and Morgan marathons.
"It took me [awhile] to get the feel of how to handle running marathons," he said.
In St. George, Jensen beat his personal best time by more than four minutes.
"It's exciting to win a race for my new wife, Lisa," he said. "She's just an amazing inspiration for me."
In the women's division, Lee easily defeated last year's champion, Amber Green of St. George, to claim her second title in three years.
Unlike the lopsided men's race, Lee didn't overtake Green until the final four miles. But she pulled away to win comfortably.
"I really had no plan," Lee said. "I went out so fast. Amber went out so fast, and I just ... I just kept going."
As the crowd at Worthen Park cheered her through the final 100 yards, Lee thought of her new daughter, Anna.
"I always live in fear of the last three miles of a marathon the last eight miles, really," she said. "But that was the best I've felt [late] in a marathon since I was 23. I'm 37 now and I just had a baby."
In the hand-crank/wheelchair division, Young was happy with his victory but disappointed in his final time of 1:01.
"I took first place, which is great, but I was looking to go a lot faster," he said.
Trouble with his back wheel cost Young a chance to win in 2012. This year, an issue with his front wheel did not prevent victory, but it impacted his final time.
"I seem to have a little bad luck when I come down here," Young said. "Winning was great. It was a good ride. But it's frustrating disappointing. ... I had different plans for this race."
Young began competing in marathons three years ago, and it's become a passion.
"Being disabled, there aren't a lot of sports I can do," he said. "This eliminates that disadvantage, and it's just a total sense of freedom. You forget about the disability and just compete do something that young love to do now."
Winners from the 37th annual St. George Marathon:
Overall • Bryant Jensen (Ogden), 2:15:57
Women • Rosy Lee (Mountain Green, Utah), 2:37:04
Hand-crank/wheelchair • Jerry Young (Providence, Utah), 1:01:37.