LAYTON – The annual Layton Marathon can be a serious and fun event at the same time.
From the chaos of trying to finish the race comes some oddities as well, but the draw of possibly qualifying for the Boston Marathon, which will take place on April 20, 2015, is what brings most people to the annual race that seems to grow every year.
“It’s the only marathon in Davis County,” said Joe Coles, race director and part of On Hill Events, which has coordinated the race every year. “And we’re actually a qualifying race where you can get to the Boston Marathon, if you run fast enough.”
Along with On Hill Events, the Davis Clipper has joined the ranks in becoming a major sponsor in the race along with the Great Harvest Bread Company, Davis Hospital and Gold’s Gym, and several other sponsors.
“I think the Davis Clipper gives people the local tie-in because the paper is a community paper,” Coles said. “By having the Clipper as a sponsor, it really helps get the community more involved.”
The marathon, that starts at Antelope Island near the Fielding Garr Ranch, is a Boston Marathon qualifier specifically because it’s the flattest race held in Utah.
“A lot the marathons in Utah have big elevation changes; the Layton marathon hardly has any,” Coles said. “It makes the race a perfect one to qualify for the Boston Marathon or even the Olympics.”
The difference between qualifying for the two, he said, is the qualifying time.
“With the Boston race you can qualify if you run in a certain time given your age,” Coles said. “For the Olympics, you have to run faster.”
The race also comes with a few quirky runners as well, Coles said. A few times there have been people who tie themselves together in an attempt to set a record.
Once, Coles said, organizers tried to tie 75 people together in the hopes of getting into the Guinness Book of World Records.
That didn’t happen, but some other attempts at setting a record have been attempted at the race before.
“We have a guy coming in from Colorado and he’s supposedly bringing people from the Guinness Book with him to set some kind of record,” Coles said. “It happens quite a lot in this race.”
Layton City itself has been involved quite a bit since the race’s inaugural event. Former Mayor Steve Curtis, who died in late November of last year, was a big part of the race’s success, said Coles.
“He was a huge part of the race’s success simply by showing up at the beginning and at the end when people cross the finish line,” Coles said. “He was really good in helping us get the community involved and getting the manpower we needed to have a successful race.”
R. Gail Stahle, the Davis Clipper’s publisher, said sponsoring the marathon is an opportunity to reach out to the Layton community as well as becoming a part of the county’s only marathon.
The Fifth Annual Layton Marathon will be run on Saturday, Sept. 27 starting at 6:30 a.m.
For more information visit laytonmarathon.com.