ST. GEORGE — Amber Green loves St. George so much, she moved here.
The defending women’s champion of the St. George Marathon lives and trains in Washington County and said her move to the area was motivated by many things, one of which is the “feel” of St. George.
“This is home to me now,” she said. “I just love this race and this course and everything.”
Green will be out on the course to defend her title, along with Aaron Metler, a local resident who won the race three years ago. Metler, who said he is recovering from an Achilles tendon injury, is expected to contend on the men’s side. He finished sixth a year ago with a time of 2:23:36. Metler works for St. George City.
Returning to defend his title on the men’s side is Fritz Van de Kamp, who crossed the finish line with a time of 2:21:14. Van de Kamp, from Millcreek, Utah, and Metler will be among the men chasing the SG Marathon all-time record of 2:16:42 set in 2007 by Nick P. Schuetze.
On the women’s side, Green and last year’s runner-up, Californian Annie O’Donnell, will be looking toward the women’s all-time record, 2:36:06, also set in 2007, by Deeja Youngquist.
No youth competitor under the age of 15 has ever come in under three hours. Nephi Eschler holds the record for that group with a time of 3:17:32 in 2010. The fastest teenager ever was 18-year old Jesse Zweig, who finished the 2006 race with a time of 2:51:40.
Race fans can expect the top male runners to come in a little after 9 a.m., with the top women arriving at the finish line about 30 minutes later.
About 2,500 volunteers will assist in shepherding and nourishing the more than 7,500 runners in the 2013 marathon. The St. George Marathon is in its 37th year. This year 213 runners will have run the race at least 20 times, while more than 1,300 celebrate having completed the race 10 times. Amazingly, there are 14 runners who have completed the St. George Marathon 30 times.
Other interesting tidbits from the marathon’s website:
- 60 percent Male Runners – 40 percent Female Runners
- 63 percent of the runners were from Utah – With California coming in second place at 12 percent
- There are 36 Runner & Wheelchair Divisions to compete in.
- 18 Wheelchair and Hand Crank participants in 2012
- Over 200,000 cups are used at 17 Aid Stations along the route.
- Over 4,250 gallons of water and 1,960 gallons of Gatorade hydration drink are consumed.
- Based on past races, approximately 80 percent of the registered runners will finish the race – all 26 miles and 385 yards.
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