Local runner achieves best in Utah marathon
Abbey Walters has always been known for speed when running.
Competing in the St. George Marathon in St. George, Utah, Saturday, Walters went faster than she ever has — at least in a marathon — finishing with a time of 2 hours, 56 minutes and 47 seconds.
With her final time of 2:56:47, Walters finished as the 11th-fastest female runner, and the top runner in her age group.
A 2005 graduate of Glenwood Springs High School, Walters, 28, received a Division I scholarship to DePaul University in Chicago to run track, but after just one year as a member of the Blue Demons track team, she decided to step away as a student-athlete, but never gave up her love for running.
Following graduation, Walters started long-distance running in hopes of competing in marathons all across the country.
She’s competed in the New York Marathon, Boston Marathon and the Rock & Roll Marathon among others, totaling 11 in all.
But none of those ranks up there with the performance Walter put on in Utah on Saturday.
“It was awesome to break my goal of under three hours,” Walters said. “I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. It just feels so good to know that the hard work and time I’ve been putting in is paying off.”
Looking big picture, Walters was just under 14 minutes off of the time needed to qualify for the Olympic Trials.
The Olympics isn’t something that Walters is focusing on, but with the way she was able to cut her time down by seven minutes in the last year, it’s something that is a possibility for the seventh-grade Humanities teacher at Glenwood Springs middle school, who is also taking grad school courses through Adams State University.
“I would love to go in that [Olympic] direction,” Walter said. “The busy life I live makes it hard to add training onto what I’m already doing, so we’ll see.”
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The 50th Carbondale Mountain Fair last weekend included the 42nd running of the Mt. Sopris Runoff 14-miler and its companion 4-Mile Fair Run foot races after a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic.