FULL RESULTS: FULL • HALF • 5K


OGDEN — Like all typical marathons, Saturday's 19th annual Ogden Marathon was run over a course of 26.2 miles — not 26 miles, but 26.2.

Figuring that there are roughly eight Ogden city blocks in a mile, Riley Cook took advantage of the final fractions of feet and made his move at the 26-mile mark, two blocks from the finish line at Historic 25th Street and Grant Avenue.

Cook, 38, captured his second consecutive — and third in the last four years — Ogden Marathon with a time of 2:23:41, edging Eliud Kirui of Tooele by 12 seconds in a thrilling trek to the tape.

“He had the lead until 23rd Street,” Cook said. “I turned on the jets as fast as I could and went by him, and just tried to ... it took everything I had left, (I) gave it all the last two blocks hoping to stay ahead of him.”

Strategy played a role early in the race as Kirui drafted behind Cook for the first 8 miles, letting him “break the wind” until Cook slowed down enough that Kirui finally took the lead.

“He threw a surge because he didn’t want me sitting behind him, then I caught back up and we were together until mile 11,” Cook said.

Nature and gastric distress then called when Cook made another move and made a pit stop that put him some 35 to 40 seconds behind.

“Never at any point after I went to the bathroom did I think I was going to be able to win it because he had the 30 seconds and was running really well, and I couldn’t cut into the lead until towards the end there,” Cook said. “Then I got a second wind and was able to capitalize on it.”

Kirui led until mile 22 before Cook ran “my fastest mile of the race” and caught him as they came out of the canyon.

“I went by him emphatically to test how he was feeling and he responded and came with me, so I slowed it back down and then we traded leads a little bit at miles 23 and 24,” Cook said. “Then he took the lead at 24 and had me by about 10 meters until 23rd Street when I was able to pass him with two blocks to go.”

A cost estimator at Hill Air Force Base, Cook, a South Weber resident, ran the Boston Marathon last month and only entered the Ogden Marathon two weeks ago, leery that his legs would “show up” after such a quick turn around.

“In the middle of the race, my legs felt kind of crummy and I didn’t know if I would be able to finish, but they came back alive and I’m thankful for that,” Cook said.

He set a course record at Ogden last year with a time of 2:21:56 but felt he didn’t have quite the recovery time needed after Boston to push that time this year.

Logan Petty, 27, of Fruit Heights finished third in the men’s division with a time of 2:29:34.

The women’s marathon winner, Emily Barrett, gave herself an early birthday present by finishing first with a time of 2:48:16. She will turn 24 on Monday.

Barrett won this race in 2016, as did Cook, in weather a lot milder than three years ago.

“It was cool and drizzly, with a little wind, but wasn’t too bad compared to 2016 when it hailed and all,” Barrett said. “It turned out to be almost perfect weather.”

Her time was ninth best overall and she was so far ahead, she even took a brief break during the race.

“I was probably in fifth for the first 5 or 6 (miles), then I picked it up from 5 to 20,” Barrett said. “I started clicking people off; that was my game plan, run my own race, do my own thing. I was in the lead at 14 and held it from there.

“I got a side ache and stopped and walked for a second and let it relax and felt great at the end. I was kind of banking on it, hoping no one would catch me and got lucky. There are a lot of talented girls out there,” she said.

Barrett will complete a master’s degree in August and recently finished her thesis, saying there is a “lot less stress these days” despite also being a new mother of a 1-year-old.

Husband Jordan Barrett met her with flowers at the finish line and said that he “is the support group. We’ll go wherever; we’ve gone to Phoenix, we’re going to Minnesota next month for another marathon, we go to St. George annually for that race and it’s our second time here. Really, if we travel, we have to find a race for her to run.”

Kayla Strong of Roy placed second in the women’s division with a time of 2:52:08 and Ashley Paulson from St. George — last year’s winner — took third at 2:54:36.

In the men’s half marathon, Ben Van Beekum, 35, of North Ogden, took first place with a time of 1:10:21.

“I’m building for a fall marathon in Huntsville; the course record is 2:19:00 and I’m going to attack that and try to break it in the fall,” Van Beekum said. “If I can get sub 2:19, that will set me up for a pre-Olympic trials qualifier, then hopefully I can go to California or somewhere and try to qualify in a sea-level race.”

Not sucking up to the boss, Van Beekum — who manages a running store in Ogden for Ken Richardson — beat Richardson by 44 seconds. Richardson ran 1:11:05.

“Ken and me took out the group; we ran together for roughly around 6 miles, then I got a slight gap on him and just sort of got into a rhythm, and rolled from there,” Van Beekum said. “I went with what I had and was lucky enough to come out with the win."

Van Beekum won the half marathon five years ago with a time in the high 1:08, but said the weather played a factor in the slower time this year.

“The wind and the rain took a toll; you just have to battle that,” he said. “It was actually pretty nice until about mile 9 where the canyon opens up and then it was pretty rough. The parkway was a little slippery, and just the headwind all the way up Grant Avenue, so it took a toll on the body. I couldn’t close the way I wanted to, but I’m happy.”

Andrew Hall of Holladay closed out the top three with a time of 1:14:36.

For the women’s division of the half marathon, Katie Thompson, 31, of Farr West, won it for the fourth time with a clocking of 1:22:22.

She last won it in 2017 and was just glad to be back on the course after giving birth to her third son last year.

“Nine months ago, I could barely walk. I had complications during my baby’s birth, so I was excited to be able to run,” Thompson said. “I didn’t know if I would ever run again, so I’m pretty excited.”

Weather cleared as the day went on and it only sprinkled on the runners the whole way, with a slight wind.

“It was windy in the canyon, but nothing horrible,” Thompson said. “I led the whole way and was running with some of the guys. I never really saw them (the other women).”

Thompson finished 11th overall.

Alyssa Girardo from Ogden filled the second slot with a time of 1:23:14 and Mary Draper of Ogden ran third at 1:24:47.

The Ogden Marathon is the major component of the GOAL Foundation's weekend of running and participation events for Weber County residents and visitors.