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Salt Lake City Marathon: With Boston in mind, more than 4,600 runners participate in SLC Marathon

SALT LAKE CITY — Jason and Michelle Cochrane called it an honor.

Bryant Jensen said it was special.

Becky Sondag ran with a slightly different perspective.

More than 4,600 participants took to the rain-soaked streets Saturday morning in the 10th annual Salt Lake City Marathon, and every runner, volunteer and spectator could not help but think of the tragic bombings near the finish line of the iconic Boston Marathon last Monday.

“It was on my mind,” said Sondag, a Casper, Wyo., resident who was the first woman to cross the finish line with a time of 3:06:32.

“Before the race, I tend to get pretty nervous,” she said, “and I thought to myself how ridiculous it is to get so amped up about something when there are so many other things that really matter.”

Saturday's events, which included a marathon, half marathon and 5K and wound through the northeast part of the Salt Lake Valley, were about reconvening as a running community and celebrating the strength of the sport.

“It was special to be up there on the front line as they paid tribute to those in Boston,” Jensen said, referring to the moment of silence and the playing of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” prior to the start of the race.

Jensen, an Ogden resident, crossed the finish line first with a time of 2:30.14. He was one of many runners wearing a shirt in the blue and gold of the Boston Athletic Club, which read “Run for Boston.” He said he plans to run that marathon next spring.

“It was really, really special to be a winner and to participate in the Salt Lake Marathon,” Jensen said. “It was great being out here. My heart goes out, as well as the Salt Lake community’s, to those in Boston — the victims, the family members, the friends.”

Jason and Michelle Cochrane, of Green River, Wyo., were also wearing the Boston shirts, and said doing so was an honor.

“It’s emotional because it’s sad,” Michelle Cochrane said. The two were already planning to run the half marathon Saturday, and said adding the shirts was “just showing our support.”

The Cochranes completed the half marathon in 1:54:02, three minutes faster than their previous bests, and were amazed with the amount of community support that lined the race path.

“We just can’t believe so many people came out even though the weather is so crappy,” Jason Cochrane said. Michelle added: “It’s amazing. People are amazing.”

Riley Cook of South Weber took first in the men’s half marathon with a time of 1:07:13 while Brett Hales of Ogden (1:07:26) and Jake Krong of Salt Lake City (1:07:39) followed up in second and third place, respectively. In the women’s half marathon, Christina Perry of Cottonwood Heights won with a time of 1:19:45. Devra Vierkant of Alta (1:19:52) placed second and Kassi Harmon of Salt Lake City (1:20:44) placed third.

Seth Wold (2:38:39) and Michael Nelson (2:40:18), both of Lehi, were the second and third finishers in the men’s marathon, while Sarah Ziherl (3:10:42) of Denver and Kim Legones (3:15:02) of Provo were the second and third finishers in the women’s marathon.

Kenneth Richardson and Janae Richardson of Ogden won the men’s and women’s 5K with times of 16:34 and 19:31, respectively.

Sarah Thomas is a graduate of the University of Utah and has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008. EMAIL: