Local runners perform well at Top of Utah

<strong>LOGAN—</strong> Thousands of runners flocked to Logan Saturday for the 13th annual Top of Utah Marathon, and a handful of local residents were among the top finishers.

Individual honors went to Jake Krong of Salt Lake City and Cynthis Farmer of Farmington, as Krong finished the 26.2-mile course in 2 hours 22 minutes and 12 seconds to win the men’s division, while Farmer topped the women’s division with a time of 2:45:51.

Top local finishers included Joe Furse of Logan, who was one of five Cache Valley runners to go sub-3 hours.

“It feels pretty good,” Furse said. “I’m happy with that. It was a good race. I haven’t had as many good races this year, so it’s nice to come out and perform well. I haven’t done as much marathon-specific training this year, so I am pretty happy.”

Furse completed the race in 2:39:40 to win the Men’s 25-29 age division, edging out fellow Logan resident Will Huff for the top honor among locals. Huff finished in 2:43:26 and finished third in the same age group.

Kaysville native Kevin Lang represented both the Utah State cross country and track teams with a seventh place finish overall, completing his goal of running a marathon before leaving to serve an LDS mission in Washington on Sept 26.

In his first marathon, Lang turned in a time of 2:40:11.

“It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be,” Lang said. “Hardest thing I’ve ever done, way harder than any college race. I just wanted to a marathon before I went on my mission and this was the only one that would work.”

This year’s top local female was Mandy Foster of Logan, who finished nearly 20 minutes behind the overall winner Farmer with a time of 3:04:22. Despite winning the Women’s 25-29 age division, Foster said she didn’t perform quite as well as she had hoped.

“I was about 45 seconds slower than last year, but I am just happy to finish right now,” Foster said. “I think I prefer the rain temperatures from last year over this year, but it’s a good day. About mile 22 or 23 I was wishing it was done.”

In her first marathon, Logan’s Lisa Watts finished third behind Foster and Bountiful’s Stephanie Parke in the age group, but was still second among local females, edging out Smithfield’s Ralee Eck. Watts finished in 3:16:01, 20 seconds ahead of Eck who came in at 3:16:21.

Other top local finishers included Wellsville’s John Jenkins, who placed second in the Men’s 35-39 bracket with a time of 2:55:10, and Richmond’s Keith Anderson, who won the Men’s 50-54 age group with a time of 2:55:57.

“It feels pretty good,” Anderson said. “I was almost an hour faster than last year. I had an injury that I was nursing last year, so it’s nice to not be injured and run this. Conditions were perfect. It was a little cold at the start, but we had a nice tailwind from about mile 12 to 14, so it couldn’t have been much better.”

<em>Photos by Scott Harris</em>

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