'Running buddies' lock up pioneer day race

Training together three days each week paid off for running buddies from Utah's Wasatch Front, Ed Eyestone and Paul Pilkington, who successfully defended their home turf in the annual Deseret News/KSL Radio 10K Race on July 24.

The duo won first and second places in what was billed as the strongest American field ever to run this race.Eyestone, a two-time Olympic marathoner and nationally ranked road runner from the Layton, Utah, Oakwoods Ward, and Pilkington of the Roy (Utah) 9th Ward, a former national 20K champion, have run together in recent years.

"It helps both of us," said Eyestone. "Both of us run well against each other."

They outpaced the favored out-of-town runner, Steve Plasencia, a two-time Olympic 10K racer from Eugene, Ore., as well as a particularly fit local group of runners. Eyestone won the first-place prize of $3,000, Pilkington won $2,000 in cash and prizes, and Plasencia won $1,000 in cash and gift certificates.

The Days of '47 celebration in Salt Lake City includes two races sponsored by the Deseret News and KSL Radio - the 10K, in its 10th year, and the 26.2-mile marathon, in its 24th year. A total of 1,876 runners took part in the 10K and 496 in the marathon. The marathon began in Parleys Canyon above Salt Lake City and then led into Emigration Canyon and followed a rigorous route up and down mountains that was once traveled by the Mormon pioneers. The 10K began at the 20th mile of the marathon at Research Park above Salt Lake City, and continued along the same route as the marathon through the city to the finish line at Liberty Park at 900 South and 700 East.

Overcast conditions provided a cool and comfortable setting for runners.

"It was a fast race," said Eyestone. He said he took the lead early in the race with a 4:04 mile. Then, "I made a break to open it up, but you never know if they are going to come back on you. At a turn, I was able to look back and see that I was ahead, and that unless I folded, I would probably win. It felt pretty good."

A professional runner who served a mission in Spain, Eyestone is in continual training. "I was looking for a race for this weekend," he said. "I always enjoy running in Utah."

Among the marathon runners who had little training for the race were brothers Robbe and Sean Lehmann of the Cottonwood 1st Ward in Salt Lake City. Sean returned from the Spain Bilbao Mission the first of July. When he returned, he asked his younger brother Robbe, 15, to run the marathon with him.

"He'd always wanted to run one, so I asked him if he'd do one with me," said Sean.

Robbe explained that he began training three weeks before the marathon, and actually ran only 13 days. He finished with a time of 3 hours 49 minutes and 27 seconds.

His brother completed the run in 3:04:33.

Garn McBride, 60, of the Olympus 3rd Ward, who finished the marathon with a time of 3:10:06, said he runs the pioneer trail race mostly for the competition of it, both against others and himself. This is his fifth or sixth marathon - he didn't remember exactly because they all kind of run together after a while, he said.

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