Despite a stiff headwind a new course record was set at the ninth annual The Other Half by Boulder, Colo., runner Kenyon Neuman with a time of 1:09:09, beating out the old record of 1:09:50 set in 2009. Marty Wacker of Grand Junction, Colo., came in second with a time of 1:20:05. The top female finisher, traveling all the way from the United Kingdom, was Sarah Louise Cumber with a time of 1:26:48. Second place female finisher Marissa Floodman of Salt Lake City finished with a time of 1:32:02.
Race temperatures started in the low 40s and rose to the low 70s, in time to warm race participants and spectators. Despite the wind, 1,459 runners officially finished the 13.1-mile race. At the finish, runners relaxed in the grass at Sorrel River Ranch and Resort while listening to live music by Albuquerque band Squash Blossom Boys. Post-race beverages were provided by sponsors Gatorade and Moab Brewery, and yummy snacks were enjoyed to refuel the participants. Runners also enjoyed a post-race awards ceremony and raffle.
“Awesome race, scenery is unmatched. The course is challenging but enjoyable,” said runner Bianca Shreeve of Salt Lake City.
Race director Bieschke said everything went well, in spite of wind.
“We have the most stellar group of volunteers for this race, especially the Daystar Adventist Academy crew,” Bieschke said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”
First-time half-marathoner 13-year-old Josh Martinez of Castle Rock said he had fun.
“The wind was hard on the hills, but I’m ready to do another half,” he said.
Race winner Neuman said it was the most beautiful half marathon he had ever won.
“The first eight miles seemed really fast, especially if there wasn’t wind. It’s a great half marathon to extend into a camping trip and to visit Canyonlands,” Neuman said.
His future goals are to prepare for cross county competitions and break a 4-minute mile in indoor track. He will also be competing in some 5ks and steeplechase.
Bieschke and staff are looking forward to the Moab Half Marathon’s fourth and final race of the year, the Winter Sun 10K, on Dec.1. The race starts at the Moab Golf Course and ends at Grand County High School. It is downhill nearly the entire way.