Legend #44 - Golden harper
Golden Harper, Orem, Utah, deserves to be included on the all time St. George Marathon Legend list for competing at a very high level at such a young age. For the five year period when Golden was age 10 to age 14, he ran marathon times that have to be considered remarkable. Prior to Golden making his marathon debut in 1992, the age group record for 12 and Under was 3:15:34 and had been unchallenged for 11 years. Golden was age 10 in 1992 and lowered the age group record to 3:08:04, winning his age group by 26 minutes and beating 90% of all the finishers that year. In 1993, Golden returned intent on lowering his age group record and also set his sights on breaking the 3 hour barrier. He was able to accomplish both, finishing in the top 6% of all finishers with a time of 2:57:27. This would set the stage for his remarkable effort in 1994.
In 1994, Golden was 12 years old and surpassed the lofty results of the previous two years. He ran the 26.2 miles of the St. George marathon faster than anyone under 12 had ever run a marathon, setting a World Record at the time. He ran 2:45:35 which is still the age group record in St. George for 12 and Under. This time on an age graded basis is 2:20:45. He finished 83rd in the entire race which had over 3,000 finishers, and won his age group by an astounding 39 minutes.
In 1995, Golden set his goal to beat the then record for age group 13-14. Golden ran his fastest St. George Marathon at age 13 of 2:44:53, beating the old age group record by 11 minutes, and it still stands today as the age group 13-14 record. Finally, in 1996, Golden ran in St. George for the last time, and achieved his highest overall placing, finishing 40th overall and in the top 1% of all runners. For the five year period 1992 to 1996, Golden won his age group by an average of 31 minutes and he is one of only five runners for the St. George marathon that hold more than one overall age group record.
Because of this performance, Golden Harper is the #44 all time performer in the St. George Marathon.