A run like no other requires training, endurance, support and dedication to fight one’s way to the end of the St. George Marathon.
Approximately 7,800 runners, including President Biff Williams, his wife Kristin Williams and some Dixie State University students capped the entry of the 40th St. George Marathon. Working around school, jobs, family and sleep, these DSU students and faculty triumphed against the odds Saturday.
Dillon Jones, a freshman exercise science major from Leeds, took the initiative this year to complete his first marathon. In preparation, Jones said he ran an average of 6 – 8 miles every day. A couple weeks before the race, Jones committed to a 15-miler to test his limits.
Jones finished the marathon in 3:22:18.
“I had never ran a half marathon or a marathon; I was going into this completely blind,” Jones said. “I just knew it was 26.2 miles.”
Jones said his motivation was getting the medal and being able to say, “I ran a marathon.”
Robin Lyman, a junior secondary education major from St. George, said her motivation was her family waiting at the finish line as well as a 10-year-old girl who also ran in the 2016 marathon.
“Every time I stopped to walk, [the 10-year-old girl] would catch up to me and pass me and I thought, ‘If she can run then I can run; I don’t care if my knee hurts,’” Lyman said.
Lyman said it was hotter this year than last year. However, the support of others took away from that struggle.
Biff Williams and his wife, Kristin Williams, participated in the marathon.
Dedication and preparation were some of the more difficult parts of the race, Kristin Williams said.
Kristin Williams said she and Biff Williams would wake up anywhere from 3:30–5 a.m. to train. The Williams also made sure to secure proper shoes and gear and to take care of their bodies, Kristin Williams said.
“Figuring out shoes was the hard thing — shoes that worked for my husband,” Kristin Williams said.
Ally Hunter, a junior nursing major from Alpine, ran the St. George Marathon for the first time this year and said it was the most overwhelming experience of her life.
Hunter said even though the marathon was overwhelming, she felt great during the race and was motivated by her father’s thoughts of “today is a good day and I can do anything I set my mind to.”