Runner's high -- that indescribable feeling of ecstasy, pain and joy.
Marathon runners feel runner's high, and then some, but runners experience an indescribable type of bond with not only running, but the course which they run.
Certainly, Utah has some of the better scenery for marathons in the nation, with the St. George Marathon annually being ranked amongst the country's best, but runners in the Ogden Marathon claim the course stacks up against any that can be found.
"It's in the top two marathons I've ever ran," said Ron Remkes, who has run over 130 marathons. "Ogden has the reputation for being the spring run-off, so you're running down the canyon and it's just fresh and green. It's like starting a brand-new summer."
The stories of runners are diverse, but one common theme is how much the local marathon has impacted the growth of running, both competitive and casual, on the northern section of the Wasatch Front.
Missy Allred, a local mother who also volunteers as a track and field coach at Ogden High School, noted the race has consistently driven more and more people into running.
"It seems like most of the runners come from the local area, so that means they're out there training for it," said Allred, who has placed as high as second place in her age group at the Ogden Marathon. "I see people out running on the trails all the time, and around the city. I think it has a great impact on the well-being of our city that extends out to the surrounding areas."
More than the growth of running, the proliferation of friendship and inspiration has grown amongst the local running community because of the event.
"So many of my friends run in the marathon each year," Manuel Cypers said. "The hour before the race is the best part, because you get to see friends."
Remkes reiterated that point, adding that the marathon community almost becomes like a family.
"It's kind of like going to a family reunion," said Remkes, who works for a local construction company. "You get to know quite a few of the individuals running it, because you see the shared conquering of the distance, and the shared conquering of the pain that you go through. There is a mutual respect."
Marathon runners generally have inspirational stories, but Cypers' story is even that much more so.
After seeing the journeys of marathon runner Dick Hoyt, who has carried his disabled song Rick along for numerous endurance races, Cypers decided to take friend Bart Kendrick, who is confined to a wheelchair, along for the journey.
Cypers, though, takes the whole process in stride.
"We hear how inspiring what we do is," said Cypers, who ran his first marathon in 2005. "I always tell people that I get as much from him as he gets from me."
In the end, Cypers described the Ogden Marathon as a gift to the community which gives rewards to everyone who is involved in it.
"Most of it is a labor of love," Cypers claimed.