Sports Stories

The 12th annual Sedona Marathon Event was more than just a simple story of 3,090 people running between five kilometers and 26.2 miles.

Some dressed up in funny outfits, each of the 10 aid stations had a certain theme and one participant even ran barefoot.

 Ryan Zmierski, 23, of Flagstaff ran the full marathon at the 12th annual marathon in a French maid’s outfit.
The Sedona Charter School’s aid station had students dressed up as No. 2 pencils. The last aid station before the turnaround of the full marathon, ran by Re/Max of Sedona, had an ’80s theme.

Aid station No. 8, ran by The Sedona Women, albeit jokingly, had an advertised shoe repair station and little shoes hanging from their heads.

Many runners wore tutus, one of which, Sedona resident Dottie Talkington, said she did it to boost others’ morale during the grueling races.

“When people see me it makes them smile,” Talkington said. “And them smiling gives me a boost.”

Twenty-four-year-old Flagstaff native Ryan Zmierski, after having run 50 miles a week prior in Florida, decided he was “just going to have fun” by wearing a French maid outfit complete with wig.

Zmierski, who still managed to finish third in his age group with a time of three hours 44 minutes and 18 seconds, said he “took it easy till the last three or four miles.”

Paul Degner, 43, of Cornville, ran the majority of the full marathon barefoot, carrying a pair of slim moccasins in hand.

There was even a preshistoric sighting; one person wore an inflatable Tyrannosaurus Rex costume, pursuing runners passing by with a sign that read “Run like a T-Rex is chasing you.”

For those who think running a full marathon is too tall of a task have not talked with Beth Chisholm, 63, of Surprise.

Chisholm, who will turn 64 in a couple of weeks, took first place in her age group with a time of four hours 15 minutes and 54 seconds.

It was her first marathon after doing a handful of half marathons.

“I just started training and hoped it was enough,” Chisholm said.

Daniel Gannon, 57, accomplished his goal, titled “Project 100,” of completing 100 marathons. His family presented him with a commemorative sign after crossing the finish line.

He said that he has run marathons on all seven continents of the world twice over, highlighting the times he ran at the Great Wall of China and Antarctica.

Gannon, who ran the Sedona Marathon for the first time, was motivated by the birth of his grandchildren.

“I decided I wanted to stay in shape so I could do things with them,” said Gannon, a Littleton, Colo., resident.

Gannon said he did not prepare for the hill-ridden, half-dirt half-pavement course any different. He finished in four hours 18 minutes and three seconds.

“It was a gorgeous course on a beautiful day with wonderful people,” Gannon said.

Daniel Gannon, of Littleton, Co. completed his 100th marathon at the Sedona Marathon Event, the first time he had done the race in Sedona.


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