Of all the competitors at this year's Ogden Marathon, one stands out

Friday , May 19, 2017 - 4:30 AM

STANDARD-EXAMINER EDITORIAL BOARD

Some run to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Others — like Katie Slaugh — walk because it’s a challenge.

But no matter why they compete, come out to cheer for them at Saturday’s Ogden Marathon.

Organized by the GOAL Foundation, the marathon is Ogden’s largest annual sporting event, attracting nearly 10,000 athletes in 2015. They participate in a marathon, a wheelchair marathon, a half-marathon, a 5K, a children’s race, a corporate competition and a relay.

The event kicks off tonight, Friday, May 19, with a walk with Mayor Mike Caldwell through downtown Ogden. And this year, for the first time, the marathon includes a 14.4-mile Sunrise Canyon Bike Ride.

Athletes run fast enough every year in Ogden to qualify for the Boston Marathon. One runner won’t, however — and she’s the competitor you need to cheer Saturday.

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Katie Slaugh, 26, lives in Vernal. She’s competed in more than 20 races of 5 kilometers or longer, including two half marathons. She finished the 2016 Cedar City half marathon in 3 hours and 30 minutes.

Slaugh has cystic fibrosis. The Ogden Marathon is her first race of 26.2 miles.

“Exercise and good cardio are some treatments for CF, so when I told my doctor, he said, ‘Go for it, if you think you can do it, I’m all in,’ ” Slaugh told Bob Judson, a Standard-Examiner correspondent.

“He high-fived me and just said, ‘Wear your oxygen.’ If that’s the only restriction, I can handle it.”

She’ll be accompanied by her mother, Teralene Slaugh, who carries Katie’s 20-pound oxygen tanks.

“It’s kind of profound,” Katie said. “I’m 26 years old and I’m going 26 miles — one mile per year for each year of being alive. I can do this ... It’s been a fun journey, for sure.”

Given that the race involves roughly 10,000 participants and 1,100 volunteers, the course will be crowded Saturday. Come out early, find a good spot and support everyone with the courage to run, roll and walk.

And when you see Katie Slaugh, cheer her on to the finish.

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