OGDEN — In what figures to be a year of rescheduling or even canceling major community events, a pretty big domino fell Wednesday — the Ogden Marathon has been postponed until September.
The Get Out And Live! Foundation announced Wednesday that for the health and safety of athletes and the community during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the event has been rescheduled to Sept. 26. All activities associated with the event will also be rescheduled to the September date.
“Obviously, it’s kind of a heartbreak for everyone involved,” said Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell. “It’s a big economic stimulator. But more than that, it’s Ogden coming together. It comes right after winter when people have kind of been cooped up. It’s just Ogden’s biggest party. But right now, in light of everything happening with the COVID-19 crisis, we’re just trying to do our part. Everybody is making sacrifices.”
Ogden City owns the marathon but contracts with the GOAL! Foundation to produce it. The foundation was created to capitalize on the momentum of the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City and included several events in Ogden. America First Credit Union is to be the chief sponsor of the 2020 marathon, which is the 20th overall race.
Ogden Chief Administrative Officer Mark Johnson said local officials had been discussing the possibility of postponing the city’s signature event for weeks.
Eric Bauman, executive director of the GOAL! Foundation, said the decision wasn’t made lightly.
“We worked with city and local officials, as well other local race directors that this date would affect, to come up with the best solution,” Bauman said. “We acknowledge and empathize greatly with the difficulty in having to make this decision and appreciate (everyone’s) understanding and support in this difficult time.”
Caldwell said the Utah Department of Transportation helped the city make the shift, by allowing for the use of State Route 39 in the fall.
The course starts in the Upper Ogden Valley at an elevation of 5,400 feet, with runners chugging down S.R. 39, next to the South Fork of the Ogden River. The final half of the race weaves around Pineview Reservoir and drops into the Ogden Canyon, with the river serving again as a backdrop. After the canyon, runners hit the Ogden River Parkway, with the course ending downtown on Historic 25th Street.
The marathon is USA Track & Field certified and a Boston Marathon qualifier.
Bauman said that although it’s disappointing to postpone the race, holding it in the fall will present a unique opportunity for runners and spectators.
“This year’s event will utilize the same scenic course, same world class finish line and the same best volunteers on the planet — with the only change being that this year it will take place in our beautiful Utah fall season.” he said. “We understand that fall is now a very busy season, but we want to invite everyone to still come out and celebrate 20 years of athletes, volunteers and memories with us.”
To register for the marathon, go to www.ogdenmarathon.com.