I showed up to the 2016 Ogden Marathon starting line with a little fear and trepidation. The year before, it had rained, boy had it rained. The State of Utah, typically one of the driest in the nation, broke records on marathon weekend for the amount of rain that fell while another record was broken, the largest number of runners during a single day in Utah showed up for the Ogden Marathon, Half Marathon and 5k races. Close to 10,000 to be exact.
This morning was supposed to be different. There was only a 20% chance of light rain today. But that 20% quickly changed to 100% as I began to exit the South Fork of the Ogden River and could see what lie ahead. Luckily, the experience last year helped me prepare for any circumstances that would come my way, rain or shine.
I have run the Ogden Marathon more than any other. This year admitted me into the famed Ten Year Club and so I wasn’t about to drop out for any reason. This is one of my favorite races, the scenery is unmatched in its beauty, the volunteer support rivals that of Boston or LA, and the organizers, The GOAL Foundation, have created an atmosphere of customer service that should be duplicated at other races. The website is a tad click heavy to find what you’re looking for, but the registration is straightforward, the Expo is pretty much like Christmas morning for me, and the overall runner experience is phenomenal.
I hear the feedback from others about the rain, and yes, it was not the most ideal. But those volunteer aid stations were relentless in their enthusiasm, as if it was still the only option for something to do that day. Forget about the fact that they weren’t burning their internal motors down the road to keep warm like the rest of us. They were just as committed as ever. That was the very thing that kept most of us off the rescue buses and on the course.
Rain or shine, I will be back for more of the Ogden Marathon. It was, and always will be, the race from which I have more medals than any other.