Dave Weloth
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Dave Weloth

Written By: Eric Bauman

“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.

After training together throughout the year, Dave and his daughter started the race, just like the thousands of other runners running the ½ marathon. As they made their way around Pineview reservoir and down scenic Ogden Canyon and the beautiful Ogden River Parkway, his daughter’s boyfriend had strategically placed signs of encouragement for the two, but it was at the world class finish line, at the end of the finish chute at 25th Street and Grant Avenue that the ultimate surprise would unfold. As Dave and Kimberly crossed the finish line, holding hands, with tears in their eyes, overcome with such a sense of accomplishment, awaiting on the other side of the finish arch was Kimberly’s boyfriend, on one knee with a marriage proposal.The perfect finish to a perfect day and by the way, she said “YES”!

After such an incredible experience Dave once again said that he was finished and this would have definitely been his last ½ marathon. That was, until his 12 year old son Braden asked him if they could spend the next year training together and run the ½ marathon together. As you can probably imagine, Dave said yes, of course, and they spent the next year training and ran the ½ marathon together. Since then, Dave and Braden have ran the ½ marathon together every year with this year being their 6thyear.

For Dave and his family, the Ogden Marathon has become more than a family tradition.It has served as a way to stay healthy as a family, spend time together as a family, and has provided a landscape of memories that are permanent in their family.

The Ogden Marathon really is more than just a marathon, its impact and reach is far broader than just a race. It truly makes a difference, and has a positive impact in the lives of our athletes, our volunteers, our spectators, and our community. It’s not only a motivator and opportunity to train and get fit, but it is an opportunity to build a community, build families, spend time with friends, and “Get Out And Live”!

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