Wacker, 41, took overall honors by touring the course in 34 minutes, 2 seconds – a per-mile average of 5:29 for the 6.2-mile race. He beat runner-up Collin Hatch, 17, of Monticello, by 19 seconds. Jackson Knowles, 17, was the first finisher from Moab, taking sixth place with a time of 37:31.
Samuelson, 30, averaged 6:11 per mile to finish first in the women’s field in 38:25, good for ninth place overall.
Lauren Atkinson, 48, clocked 40:53 as the first Moab woman to finish. It was good for third place among the women and 20th overall.
And then there was Marble, a blue healer mix that loped to the finish line in 45:09 as the first of about eight canine finishers. Marble and owner James Morton, 56, placed 51st overall.
Entrants with dogs had to start at the back of the pack and make sure their dog didn’t interfere with other runners, according to the race website. The race committee has considered banning dogs due to complaints, but will allow the practice as long as dog owners prevent other participants from being affected.
There appeared to be no problems Saturday, especially for Marble and Morton as they threaded their way from the end of the line to among the top finishers.
The race wasn’t only to the swift, however. There was lots of variety in the field of 578 finishers – one more participant than in 2011 – as runners enjoyed balmy temperatures under a sunny sky. Some wore costumes, including a woman in a red tutu.
Two women from Colorado put together a seasonal theme. Lorrie Sheley of Fruita, Colo., wore a green shirt with the word “Nice” on the front while Sarah Robinson of Grand Junction wore a red shirt with the word “Naughty.” They ran side-by-side throughout the route, which began at Moab Golf Course and finished on the Grand County High School track.
“She’s one of those big city girls,” Sheley said of her friend. “That’s why she’s naughty.”
The race’s dog-friendly nature drew Christa Zubieta from Red Mesa, Ariz. She said the chance to run with her furry buddy was a treat, adding she wished more races would allowed dogs on leashes to take part.
Zubieta’s husband added that they used the trip to stock up on groceries. “This is civilization to us,” he said.
Donna Bergman of Grand Junction spent time in Moab doing some Christmas shopping when not running. She went to craft fairs at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center and the Grand Center on Friday before the run.
She gave high marks to the Winter Sun l0K and other aspects of the holiday kick-off weekend, saying she particularly enjoyed the Christmas lights along Main Street on Friday night.
“I’ve done the Canyonlands Half-Marathon and The Other Half... so I decided it was time to try this,” she said. “I walked some of it and did some jogging, too. It was great fun. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
The only dilemma, she said, was deciding what to wear on the surprisingly warm first day of December.
The race featured young and old entrants. The youngest female was Moab’s Emmeline Heywood, 11, while 81-year-old Julia MacCabe of Logan was at the other end of the age spectrum. Among male entrants, 11-year-old Alex Lacy of Moab and Warren Ohlrich, 73, also of Moab, were the extremes.
After the race concluded, several door prizes were awarded to participants. Local merchants made that possible through donations.