South Jordan Organizes Race Series
Jun 10, 2016 09:58AM
By Tori La Rue
Runners leap during one of South Jordan’s annual Marathons. – South Jordan City
By Tori La Rue | [email protected]
Nonprofits and other organizations put on the majority of races in some municipalities, but that’s not the case with South Jordan City. This year the city’s hosting eight themed races that range in distance from a 2.5K to a marathon, giving community members access to races of varying levels of difficulty.
“The program has evolved,” Wendy Thomas, associate director of the South Jordan Fitness and Aquatic Center, said. “We started doing a few small races, and it’s snowballed and grown with the popularity of running. It’s become part of our recreation programing that we discuss on a regular basis.”
Steve Goodrich, who’s participated in races within the series for four years, said the races are convenient and well put together.
“I’m really happy they do the race series. Often, the races start about a mile from my house, and they keep their prices down,” he said. “The SoJo half- and full marathon are as well put on as any that I’ve participated in, and I’ve run in Snow Canyon, American Fork, Provo City, Provo Canyon and a lot of other half-marathons.”
South Jordan’s marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifier and what Tina Brown, South Jordan spokeswoman, calls “a seriously significant race.” Although South Jordan City is “limited geographically” and doesn’t have the beautiful mountain scenery that some cities in the state do, Thomas said they’ve built a popular and committed race program through seeking feedback and creating themes for each race.
This year’s series began with the Date Dash 5K, where participants were encouraged to run as couples, and the Gold Rush 5K, where runners with the best St. Patty’s Day attire were given awards. The most recent race, the Earth Day 10K, was not as well attended as other races in the series, but was well supported by city staff, Goodrich said.
“The course was good, and police were there to help you cross the street,” Goodrich said. “It’s a good time of the year for a race because it’s early on in the season, so you can figure out where you are at and what you want to do to train for other races.”
Participants had the opportunity to bring recyclables to the Earth Day race for a chance to win prizes. The next race is the Summerfest 5K and Kids Run on June 4. To sign up visit: https://www.raceentry.com/races/sojo-summerfest-5kkids-run/2016/register.
The race season will continue with the nighttime 5K and 10K Glow Run in July, 2.5K SuperHero Fun Run in August and half marathon and 5K College Rivalry Run in September, all leading up to the SoJo Marathon in October.
Although the race series had become a city tradition, there are new additions this year. The marathon includes a relay, so groups of two to five people can run the 26.2 miles as a team. It also includes a bike tour, so bikers can enjoy the same course as the runners.
“We like taking people’s positive feedback and taking the criticism, so that we can improve,” Thomas said.
This year the registry is entirely online; the city’s used more social media platforms to reach out to runners and they’ve created new events called “SoJo Runner’ Socials,” which are hosted every other month. The socials are hosted in collaboration with and at the South Jordan Health Center in Daybreak and are opportunities for runners to network, learn from dieticians and personal trainers and go on a group run.
“During our first one, everything went well, but the weather was terrible, so we had to cancel the group run,” Thomas said. “We just want people to have the most opportunities they can to get motivated to run because it is an affordable way to be fit and a great way to enjoy the fresh air.”
The next social will be on June 9. For more information about Runner’s socials, like the South Jordan Marathon/Half Marathon/5K page on Facebook. For more information about upcoming races, visit www.sojomarathon.com/.
“All in all, we love the races because they bring the community together,” Brown said. “It brings residents out away from their screens and off of the couch and gets them involved in nature by running through a beautiful city.”