OGDEN MARATHON: Vierkant snaps women's course record

Sunday , May 18, 2014 - 8:51 AM

Standard-Examiner correspondent

OGDEN — More than 10,000 runners from seven countries ran through Ogden Saturday, competing in the 14th Ogden Marathon.

Fritz Van de Kamp of Salt Lake City, a seasoned marathon runner, took home his fifth win of the Ogden marathon at 2:23.34. This was his ninth time running the race.

Devra Vierkant of Sandy made course history by snapping the women’s course record in a time of 2:46.07. The previous record was 2:47.29.

Right after Vierkant crossed the finish line she said the race was “brutal” this year, but still really enjoyed the race.

“That last stretch is brutal,” she said as a medal was placed around her neck.

This is the second time Vierkant, 38, has run the Ogden marathon. She runs the race with some friends, local Ogden runners, who convinced her to try to the race again. She won for the women two years ago as well.

Vierkant is no stranger to marathon races. She raced three last year and will continue to race this year.

One of the things that drew her to the Ogden Marathon was the fact it is a USA Track and Field qualifier, which gives her points to run in other marathons, like the Boston Marathon.

Jenny Scothern, Executive Director for the GOAL foundation, who sponsors the Ogden Marathon, said the race has been a qualifier for several years.

Both Van De Kamp and Vierkant said they love the atmosphere of the Ogden race because organizers are friendly and the Ogden community is welcoming.

“Ogden is very nice and it’s a good, honest course,” Vierkant said.

Van de Kamp, 34, has run in about 45 marathons.

“This is my favorite. Everyone is very friendly and there is a hometown feel here,” he said. “It’s a big race and a small town feel and the scenery on the course is great.”

Van de Kamp loves to run and feels that marathons are a great reward for his runs.

“And, winning is always great,” he said as he threw a cup of cold water on his head.

Scothern said race organizers couldn’t have asked for a better weather day for the race and liked the chances for a course record to be set.

But Scothern said the race isn’t only for elite race runners.

“We like the fact that our race draws the elite racers, but we also like that anyone can come out and race and feel comfortable here,” Scothern said.

She spoke of the GOAL foundation’s motto, “Get Out and Live” and said they try to encourage people to try the marathon for a way of good, healthy living and she thinks that by the size of the race and the varying degrees of participants, they are reaching that goal.

There was a half marathon, full marathon, 5K, and relays all going simultaneously. A Kid’s K was held later that afternoon.

Ben Van Beekum, 30 of North Ogden won the half marathon with a time of 1:08.54. Katie Thompson, 26, of Ogden won the women’s half with a time of 1:22.27.

Debbie May of Attleboro, Mass., raced the half marathon with a group of friends from around the country. Their goal is to race a half marathon in each state and the Ogden marks the half-way point for her group.

“This is in one of my favorite races,” May said.

It was May’s 63rd half marathon.

“We belong to a club called the half fanatics and we’re crazy,” she said with a big smile.

Some runners admitted the course was harder than they had heard, but worth it.

“It’s a lot harder than I had heard, but it’s one of my two favorite courses,” said Trevor Harris from South Jordan.

He had just finished the full marathon and joked about the table he was leaning on holding him up.

“I have a sickness for running,” he said.

Sign up for e-mail news updates.

Get the Standard-Examiner Advantage.