Last Saturday morning brought beautiful running weather as runners gathered, from around the area for
the Gerald Anderson Memorial run. This charity run in its Sixth year has been attracting not only runners from Morgan county,
but from around the State. This run has proven to be not only fun and competitive, but beautiful.
All proceeds of this charity run are donated to the Morgan Historical society. Gerald was looking for
ways for the Historical Society to raise money at the time of his untimely death. “Too many people over look the importance
of history” Amber said of donating the money there. “We think this is a good way to give back to the Historical
Society which Gerald loved so much, as well as raise awareness.”
Like years past, several members of the Anderson family helped out with the race. “Every one
in the family is so willing to help out” Brad said of his family. “They’ll always help with anything we
need. They all want to support the race in one way or other” they did everything from talked to some sponsors, to Barbara
Anderson getting water melon for post race refreshments.
Though a race for his father, Brad admits Amber does more work than he does. “Amber is really
why this race goes as well a sit does. She puts so much into it. I do the flyers, and design the T-shirts, and then Amber
does the rest.” Brad said proudly.
This run was started in 2001 by Brad and Amber Anderson in memory of Brad’s father Gerald who
died of Cancer in December of 2000. “We thought it would be a good way to keep his memory live for the whole family”
One of the big attractions at this race is the technical T-shirt tops they use for their race shirts.
They are a $30 value, and get them with the help of Brad and Amber’s good friends John and Kristin Wojciechowski , who
are the owners of Striders running store in Layton, Utah. “John and Kristin are such a big help. John splits the cost
of the shirts with us.” Amber said of Striders owners. “They give so much back to the local running community.
We don’t even have to ask them for help. They are always asking us what they can do. We think they are the best.”
Gerald’s youngest son Mark, who did not run this year since suffering a running injury while
training for the St. George Marathon, was in charge of welcoming runners, explaining
the race course, starting the race. As he sounded the blow horn, over 130 runners took off on the 5K run.
In the previous five races a new winner had won the men’s division every year. Jed Johansen,
the current course record holder and Mark Jolley, the 2004 winner, both took an early lead. They ran together through the
first mile, When Johansen, former Weber state University 10,000 meter star, fell back with Respiratory problems. “Mark
tried to help me stay on pace.” Johansen said of his Weber State team mate, and friend. “But I had a hard time
With Mark Jolley out of reach, the race was for second place. It was then that Morgan High’s
Tyson Jex and Kyle Heywood, and Jansen Bennett surged ahead. But right along with them was Gerald’s very own daughter
in law Lindsey Anderson, a current Weber State track star. Lindsey, current Women’s course record holder, has run the
race 4 times, and won 4 times. “I didn’t feel all that great, but it was nice to race a longer distance again.”
This race typically starts off Lindsey’s training after her short break after Outdoor track. Lindsey was not only the top female runner, but the 3rd over all runner, barely missing 2nd
place by only 2 seconds. “It’s always fun to do this race. It’s also neat that it’s a race in honor
of my father in law.” Though she and Mark married several years after Gerald died, Gerald watched Lindsey win her first
State title in High School.
After the 5K finished, over 20 kids lined up for the Kids K. In its second year, the Kids K takes one
loop around the Wilkinson Rec plex. Ethan Anderson, Gerald’s Grandson said: “I like the prizes”, when asked
what he liked most about the race. There are always enough prizes and ribbons so each child who participates has something
to bring home to show off.
After the Kids K, Brad and Mark Anderson handed out the awards and gave away every prize they had loaded
on a table.
After the awards are given out, and the prizes are drawn, leaving every single participant with a prize,
everyone involved agreed this race was again a success.
The Anderson family, and the Morgan Historical society would like to thank all of the sponsors who
help make this race what it is. But, even more want to thank everyone who comes out and runs. This race wouldn’t be
the same without all of you.
Of the few changes that the Gerald Anderson Memorial had
this year, none were more noticeable than the increase in participants.
In the 5K alone, the
race had nearly 200 runners. The Kid’s K had nearly 40 kids. Along with the score’s of spectators; the Wilkinson
Recreation complex was a full house.
“We’ve been getting more runner’s every year.”
said race director Amber Anderson. “We have a core set of runner’s who run it year after year. We have tons of
runner’s from out of town who have realized how beautiful Morgan is. It’s really taken on a life of its own.”
As usual Strider’s in Layton came through with more help
than anyone could hope for helping with the Technical tops, race number’s, pin’s, prize’s, Gatorade
, race marker’s, as well as invaluable help through the whole process of planning and putting on the race. “John
and Kristin at Strider’s are our good friends. We could never repay them for the help the give us. We never even have
to ask.” Amber said. “They are our title sponsor, and have really become a big part of this race. It’s too
bad Gerald never got to meet them.”
This year Stride
Racing, a professional timing service volunteered to do the timing. Gerald Anderson knew the owner’s when they ran at
Weber State University. “We didn’t even ask Kurt Black and Mark Jolley (Stride Racing) to time. They came to us
and volunteered.” Said race director Brad Anderson of the timing help. “It was a huge help having them time, and
it took so much stress out of putting on the race.” Each runner gets a card that has their name, time, place, and average
pace within about 30 seconds of finishing the race.
for this year was an alternate course. With the Bridge being repaired, the Gerald Anderson Memorial 5K ran an alternate course
for this year. It started, and ended at about the same place as always. It was great chance to showcase the beautiful
neighborhoods in Morgan to the out of town runners. “We had it run through some of the neighbor hoods here in
Morgan.” said Amber. “It worked out great. We had people come outside and cheer. And it actually ended up
being a much faster course since it is flat as a pancake. We got several comments about how beautiful it was.”
the weather couldn’t have been better. Temperature’s hovering around 50 degrees made it perfect weather for fast
times. Corbin Talley of Layton, who is a 2 time Utah Road Racing Champion, spent little time making the race for first a one
man show. Talley, a good friend of the Anderson’s, went on the scorch the course with a winning time of 15:54, a new
race record. “I thought the course was challenging but fast. It made it fun. It was the perfect morning to run fast.
” Corbin Stated. “I thought the people cheering, and the amount of people running made it an awesome experience.
It’s a great cause. I wish there were more positive experiences like this one. I’m glad I got to be part
of it. I’ll be back next year.”
the top 3 over-all, winning plaques were Spencer Anderson of Fruit Heights, and Dave Elger from Mountain Green, who at 53
showed nearly 200 runners how to get things done.
On the women’s
side, current Weber State Cross Country and Track runner, Morgan Haws set a race record with her winning time of 18:11. Placing
second was the 5A 1,600 and 3,200 meter State Champion and Mile State Record Holder Candace Eddy of Kaysville with a time
of 18:43. Also from Kaysville, making the winner’s circle a family affair was Natalie Haws who took 3rd with
a time of 19:10.
After most of
the 5K runners were done 34 Kids lined up for the Kid’ K. It was really fun to watch the kids getting some exposure
to this great sport. Many parents ran along side their kids. Each child received a finisher’s ribbon, as well as a prize.
After all of
the races were run there were drinks, Watermelon, and bread from Aspen Mills for all to enjoy while they waited for awards,
and the prize drawing that left every runner with a prize. “I’m usually not in the mood to eat after a race, but
the bread was too good to pass up. It was light and delicious.” Jason Schoenfeld commented between bites.
“There was everything in the drawing. It’s really
hard to believe” Jed Johansen commented. “It’s by far the best drawing I’ve ever seen after a race.
And it gets better every year.”
family and The Morgan county Historical Society would like the thank each of the runner’s, volunteer’s and Sponsor’s
for making this run such a giant success. Mark your Calendar’s for June 14, 2008 for next year’s race. It’s
always the second weekend in June.
(even Kid’s K results) and picture’s see http://andersonmemorial5k.tripod.com (No WWW.)
for our article listing each sponsor who generously donated.