OGDEN — Kym Buttschardt made her way to the starting line for the Ogden half-marathon at 4 a.m. Saturday. She wasn't one of the thousands who ran the sold-out race. She was one of the thousands who volunteered to set up the race and cheer on the runners.
"We get up there at four in the morning," she said. "We get the music going, the fires, the fun and prepare to support 2,800 runners."
After giving the half-marathon runners a send-off they won't soon forget, she and her army of volunteers wait for the marathon runners to reach what is the halfway point in that race.
"I am so proud to be involved in the race," she said. "It gives you a lot of pride, and I like seeing my community smile, have a good time and the race grow."
Fritz Van de Kamp, Salt Lake City, won the marathon with a time of 2:29.20. Ogden resident Bryant Jensen was second (2:34.17) and Benjamin Van Beekum, Harrisville, was third (2:35.08).
Stefanie Talley, Layton, won the marathon for the women's division with a time of 2:52.34. Anna Judd, Ogden, was second with a time of 2:55.48, and St. George's Amber Green was third, finishing in 2:57.17.
Buttschardt said the Ogden Marathon is more than just another foot race.
"It's not just a race," she said. "It's a community celebration."
Some of that energy, she said, comes from the fact that it is organized, operated and promoted by a nonprofit that just hopes to get people off the couch and involved in life.
"It's run not for profit," she said. "And it just radiates this positive message. We say volunteer, spectate, donate or activate."