Blackfoot man claims Tommy Vaughn's Blackfoot Marathon championship
Competitors came from Idaho, Montana and Utah, but a man from Blackfoot won the overall championship of the Tommy Vaughn's Blackfoot Marathon and More on Saturday.
John Taberna ran the 26.2-mile course around the community in three hours and two minutes.
Taberna said the marathon was his first in seven years. He and his wife run the Pocatello series of 5- and 10-kilometer races and he regularly competes in half-marathons.
"They claim you have to do marathon training to get better at the half," Taberna said. "Since this was local, I said, 'why not?'
"It was a great course," he added. "But the headwind was sucky. It seemed like the wind swirled everywhere you went."
Thirty-seven competitors finished the marathon. The "and More" portion of the event drew approximately 500 people and their supporters into Airport Park and the surrounding area.
Jennifer Huff of Idaho Falls won the women's marathon.
Tyler Nelson of Saratoga Springs, Utah, won the Challenge Half-Marathon with Heather Layton of Salt Lake City, Utah, was the woman's winner.
Jay Conway of Butte, Mont., was the Challenge Marathon champion while Lisa Chandler of Salt Lake City won the women's Challenger Marathon. That event featured approximately 10 competitors operating hand cycles. Many were victims of spinal cord injuries representing the TRAIL (Therapeutic Recreation And Independent Lifestyle ) program at the University of Utah.
"It was fun," Nelson said of the course. "But I think my arms are going to fall off here in a minute."
Conway said, "it was a nice, well-laid out course.
"Hey, new course record," Conway joked. The event is in its first year.
Ray Bassett of Emmett won the 5-kilometer race.
"I liked the course with its twists and turns so you're not looking at the same thing all the time," Bassett said.
Brittany Hill of Rexburg won the women's 5K.
Joe Stroh of Idaho Falls, the men's 10K winner, called the course "awesome," a word numerous other competitors used. Joy Anderson of Blackfoot was the women's winner.
Jeff Shadley of Idaho Falls won the half-marathon while Mandy Chestnut of Firth won the women's title. Ten-year-old Talon Anderson was the youngest finisher in the half-marathon.
Perhaps the oldest entrant in any of the races was Audrey Gardner of Blackfoot. The 78-year-old woman participated, "because it's a good cause" and because her two daughters — Cindy Bewley and Pam Gardner — encouraged her to join them.
The entire event was a fundraiser for the Community Dinner Table, a faith-based charity which provides a once-a-week dinner in Blackfoot during the winter months. It has provided over 20,000 meals over four years.