“A community builds an organization, an organization builds a race, a race builds a community”. This time tested formula continues to be relevant year after year in providing a significant positive impact in our community and in the lives of our athletes, volunteers, spectators, and community as a whole. “Its more than a marathon” is a statement that I have heard so many times, and the stories in our community of how the marathon has affected people’s lives in such positive ways are awe inspiring.I had the honor and opportunity to sit down with Dave Weloth to hear his amazing Ogden Marathon story and how running has become a Weloth family tradition.
Dave’s first experience with the Ogden Marathon was working as a volunteer at the finish line. It was the first year of the Ogden Marathon, now 20 years ago, and Dave and a team of dedicated volunteers arrived in the early hours of the morning at the finish line to unpack the medals that would be later distributed to runners as they crossed the finish line. Dave remembers how inspiring it was to him to watch the runners cross the finish line with such emotion and sense of accomplishment. Dave remembered seeing a diverse group of runners, some of which were elite competitive runners, but the group that had the biggest significance to him, were what he saw as “average people”. This group and the commradery of the volunteers inspired Dave to volunteer again the next year.
During that year, Dave had ran a 5K and couldn’t stop thinking about how he wanted to run a ½ marathon. He reflected on seeing the runners at the finish line and wanted to experience the incredible feeling of accomplishment for himself. On the third year of the Ogden Marathon, Dave ran the ½ marathon and remembers the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment that he had when he finished. He had accomplished his goal that he had worked and trained so hard for all year and he told his daughter that he was finished and that would be his last ½ marathon.
Shortly after, his daughter Kimberly told him that she wanted to run the ½ marathon and invited him to train and run the ½ marathon with her. As Dave and his daughter trained together throughout the year, a series of events that his daughter was unaware of were unfolding. During the year, Kimberly’s boyfriend approached Dave and asked if he could marry his daughter, this of course was kept confidential between Dave and his daughter’s boyfriend.The rest of the story would unfold, unknown to Kimberly, during the race.