Salt Lake Marathon: SLC runner Van De Kamp takes easy win
After missing last year's Boston Marathon due to an injury, Fritz Van De Kamp showed no ill effects Saturday as he raced to an easy victory in the 11th annual Salt Lake City Marathon.
The 34-year-old Salt Lake City runner found the marathon's new course more challenging than expected as he led 1,130 runners to finish with a time of 2 hours, 28 minutes, 18 seconds, beating Ogden's Bret Ferrier by just over four minutes.
The marathon runners joined 3,440 half-marathon and 870 5-kilometer participants in enjoying near-perfect weather conditions as well as a colorful crowd that lined both sides of the finish line and cheered on runners as they ran through Salt Lake City neighborhoods and past downtown landmarks.
"I was looking forward to the new course," said Van De Kamp, who guessed that this was the 10th marathon he had won. "I liked it. It was definitely a bit more challenging in terms of more hills. You have to climb up South Temple, climb up Sugarhouse Park and climb up to 23rd East. That makes for some faster miles toward the end, but some of those steep little hills early on were kind of tough."
Ferrier, who was running in his first marathon, seemed satisfied with his second-place finish.
"I have raced with a bunch of guys who race Fritz," said the 31-year-old distance runner. "He runs really fast the first half, and then slows down. My plan was to stay back and try to gain on him the last six. â¦ I got some pretty bad blisters partway through."
Melanie Burnham of Lehi beat a bad cold to win the women's marathon title with a time of 3:02.55, besting Kim Taylor of Pleasant Grove and Jane Durfey of Highland by about 13 minutes.
"I am overwhelmed and joyful that I made it," said the 36-year-old Burnham, who celebrated her first marathon victory. "Thank god. I had good friends who helped me get here and my family. I was fighting a cold. I got a shot yesterday, and I have been taking antibiotics. It's a good course. It's not too easy but challenging. At mile nine, I thought about just doing the half marathon and taking that way home. I almost turned there."
Adrian Castro of Salt Lake City won the wheelchair marathon crown with a time of 1:48.23.
Patrick Smyth of Salt Lake City won the half marathon with a time of 1:06.01, beating Mario Macias of Boulder, Colo., by about 40 seconds.
"It was nice downhill for the most part," said the 27-year-old Smyth. "There were a couple of steep climbs early on, but it's early so it doesn't take too much out of you. Conditions were perfect. â¦ We had good support. Every corner had a group of people going crazy."
Allie Moore of Salt Lake City won the woman's half marathon by turning in a 1:21.24 time, about 31 seconds ahead of Emma Garrard of Park City.
"I am happy with my time," she said. "I wasn't sure what I was going to run. My goal was 1:30 to 1:21, to I am happy with that."
Jacob Gustafsson of Salt Lake City ran a 5:23 mile pace to beat 17-year-old Erik Armes of Coronado, Calif., in the 5-kilometer race with a time of 16:42.
"With a mile to go, I had it in my mind to go and that's when I went," said the 30-year-old Gustafsson. "I kind of struck out on my own and finished that way. â¦ It's always fun to run in the middle of the city. You don't always get to do this."
Thirteen-year-old Kelli Holiday of Ten Sleep, Wyo., outpaced Kirsten Anderson of Sandy to win the women's 5-kilometer overall title.
"My dad thought I could probably place in the top three," said Holiday, who is running on her track team and said she came down for this race to get in some extra miles. "I wanted to run my best today and I tried to push it out, especially at the end, because the girls were behind me. I was watching the miles and when I already hit one mile, I thought 'Wow, that was fast.' It seemed like I was running pretty good today."
Though a police bomb squad truck was parked on 500 South near the finish line and there was a heavy police presence after the bombing at last year's Boston Marathon, this was a mostly joyous celebration of athletic achievement.
Thousands of fans lined the finish, some carrying posters and flowers. One mom finished a race with two children in tow. Another lady carried her dog across the finish line.
B.J. Christensen, who finished fourth in the men's marathon, even picked up a buddy at about the 20-mile mark in the form of a large brown dog.
"He wouldn't leave me," laughed the runner, who helped his new friend get some water. "Whose dog is this? He just hung with us. He was dead-dog tired, as I was. I figured if he was going to run this, I was going to finish it too."
By the numbers Salt Lake City Marathon
O Marathon • Fritz Van De Kamp of Salt Lake City wins the men's division in 2 hours, 28.18 minutes. Melanie Burnham of Lehi earns the women's title in 3:02.55. Adrian Castro of Salt Lake City wins the wheelchair division with a time of 1:48.23. There were 1,130 marathon runners.
Half marathon • Patrick Smyth of Salt Lake City wins the men's division with a time of 1:06.01. Allie Moore of Salt Lake City wins the women's title with a time of 1:21.24. There were 3,440 half marathon runners.
5K • Jacob Gustafsson of Salt Lake City wins the men's race with a time of 16:42. Kelli Holiday of Ten Sleep, Wyo., earns the women's title with a time of 21:17. There were 870 participants.
• For complete results, log on to saltlakecitymarathon.com.