It was a festival of feet - an ambulatory jubilee - at the annual July 24 Deseret News-KSL Radio 10K race and marathon.
Some 2,500 men, women and children ran, jogged or walked according to their preference along the route where pioneer men, women and children had trekked 143 years earlier.The 10K was won in a blistering time of 28:16 by Jon Sinclair of Denver. His pace included a 4-minute first mile for himself and his nearest competitor, Don Janicki. Janicki has been rated as America's top marathoner for the past six years.
The marathon, however, was as slow as the 10K was fast. While the 10K is a rapid downhill course, the marathon is a grueling uphill-downhill grind that many top runners choose to never attempt. Gordon Hyde of Orem, Utah, won the race with a calculated slow time of 2:29:02. He was followed closely by Mariano Mamani of La Paz, Bolivia, who had a time of 2:29:18.
Hyde is a repeat winner from last year who intentionally ran "ho-humming" along the grueling course to save himself for the last mile. "It was smart to play it safe," he said later. "If I had tried to run it faster, I would have been beaten [at the endT."
The returned missionary from the Texas Dallas Mission had family members with water on hand to cheer him on at several points in the race. He ran next to Demetrio Cabanillas for 20 miles until Cabanillas, the nine-time marathon champion, "hit the wall" and dropped out.
Hyde, the top-ranked National Guard runner in the nation, said that in running and in life, he is very goal-oriented. He was recently called as president of the elders quorum in the Hillcrest 1st Ward in Orem. Fewer than half the 80 families were being home taught. In two months, the percentage has increased to 70-80 percent.
Running the marathon requires patience, but home teaching demands a different kind of patience, he said. His follow-up, positive attitude and caring are relentless. Less-active members are attending services again, and a part-member neighbor family has become united in membership and activity, according to one ward member.
Hyde explained that he had some success as a runner before serving his mission, but "victory is nothing like the feeling you have when someone gets baptized. Missionary work has eternal significance - that is the difference."
Another determined marathon runner was Robert Nelson, 50, a Scoutmaster in the Holladay 11th Ward who placed fifth overall. He is is one of the top-ranked over-50 marathoners in the nation. "This is the only sport where you do better as you get older," he quipped.
One who took part in the 10K race was Daniel Higginson, 7, of the Salt Lake Olympus 2nd Ward. Daniel suffered a long bout with encephalitis two years ago, explained his father, Lawrence.
"Daniel will never be big, so we wanted to find something he could excel in to help his self-esteem," he said.
And the Pioneer Day "festival of the feet" was just the thing.
1 John Sinclair 28:16
2 Don Janicki 28:21
3 Silvio Guerra 29:01
1 Kellie Cathey 31:37
2 Libbie Johnson 33:25
3 Martha Tenorio 33:35
1 Gordon Hyde 2:29:02
2 Mariano Mamani 2:29:18
3 David Matthews 2:36:04
1 Lorie Hutchison 3:02:53
2 Laurie Tourney 3:18:43
3 Genny Hale 3:19:31
1 Jim Martinson 1:41:23
2 Jim Peterson 1:52:45
10K wheelchair, men
1 John Brewer 22:27
10K wheelchair, women
1 Angie Hendrix 25:38