Brett Hales had broken the course records 2 times previously at Thanksgiving Point. While he did take first place honors at the 8th annual Tulip Festival half marathon, difficult weather conditions resulted in his time being 40 seconds shy of his course personal record. He covered the 13.1 mile course in 1 hour 9 minutes and 49 seconds.
“It was a good condition but I had to battle with the wind.” Said Hales, who experienced a mix of favorable tailwind and unfavorable headwind. It was a cold morning race that averaged between the 30 to 40 degree range throughout the race.
The second place finisher was about 6 minutes behind so it was never really a one man race from the beginning.
Brett ran for Ogden high school and was a walk on for the Weber State cross country team. After college he hasn’t skipped a beat despite his greatest attempts. Hales admitted, “After college I tried running away from running but it kept coming back into my life.”
Hales races for Brooks and regularly finishes first in the popular running company’s gear. When he’s not tiptoeing through the Tulip Festival at a blistering 5 minute pace, he’s winning races in northern Utah like the Top of Utah marathon (2016) or the famous Deseret News Half Marathon on Pioneer Day (2014) or the XTERRA trail run national championship (2014).
Despite having fared well in several widely known races, the Tulip Festival Half Marathon remains Brett’s favorite race of the year. Every year he discovers something new about himself because of the uniqueness of the course. It doesn’t hurt that he took home a 500 dollar cash prize for first place overall.
Brett paid due respect to his friend Kendall Wimmer for being a great race director. If history repeats itself, Brett could be tiptoeing through the Tulip Festival for a long time.
Other top finishers were Nan Kennard (female half marathon overall, 1:24:09), Giselle Slotboom (female 5k overall, 17:42), and Dustin Bybee (male 5k overall, 16:34). Michael Boyer won the kids mile run with a time of 6:26.