CHEYENNE – Around 5 o’clock every morning, Adam Cordell’s alarm went off, signaling the start of a new day and for him to hit the streets for a long run.
Sometimes, his alarm would buzz around 4 a.m., which made it that much more difficult to get out of bed.
“Sometimes I’d fall on the floor (trying) to get up,” he joked.
Living near Mylar Park – which is along the revamped course of the second Cheyenne Marathon – Cordell, who didn’t run in high school, ran a marathon once every three months leading up Sunday’s marathon in the Capital City.
“I train on these streets,” he said. “It’s nice to live here and train on these streets.
The 29-year-old Cheyenne native is on a mission – to run a marathon in every state, which, he said, gives him good reason to travel.
He can now check off the Equality State. Adam Cordell won the full marathon late Sunday morning, crossing the finish line at the Cheyenne Depot Plaza in 2 hours, 37 minutes, 0.23 seconds.
“I think that’s a PR for me,” said Cordell, whose 2016 Boston Marathon cap was drenched in sweat. “I was out in front the whole time, so it was really hard not to run with anybody, but I pushed through it and I had beautiful weather. It was perfect for me.”
It was a difficult race for Cordell, both physically and mentally. The revamped racecourse offered various hills, particularly a 3-mile stretch after the midway point. Being out in front also presented the challenge of running alone, rather than having someone close by.
“I mean, you have the lead biker out there with you, but when you’re out there alone, it gets pretty lonely,” added Cordell, who placed second in the full marathon last year. “It gets pretty tough to maintain a pace and stay motivated. It was nice to run in the morning for probably the first 20 miles. After that, it got pretty hot and that’s where you just really grind it out after that.”
Shortly after finishing the race, Cordell sought out his family, including his father, Scott Cordell, who was the lead biker throughout the race. He embraced his mom, Kathy Cordell, daughter, Rian Cordell-Reiner, and girlfriend, Reagan Lowe. His eyes started to water as a smile painted his face with pure joy.
“It’s nice to have my family here,” Adam Cordell said. “They mean a lot to me. It was motivation for sure. “… getting up at 5 a.m. every morning just grinding it out and lots of people don’t see that part, and it’s just good to show it sometimes.”
Sunday marked Abi Bever’s seventh full marathon. She had never won. That changed in a matter of a few hours.
Bever was the first female to cross the finish line Sunday, recording a time of 3:20:29.
“Lucky No. 7,” the 28-year-old Cheyenne native said with a laugh.
Bever didn’t run in last year’s inaugural Cheyenne Marathon, but she enjoyed the aspect of running through parks and, most importantly, running in her hometown.
“It gave an opportunity for a lot of people to come out and cheer,” she said. “That was awesome. It was exciting to do it on home turf – can’t get any better than that.”
Alejandro Garcia has always loved a good challenge – both mentally and physically. He got one Sunday morning.
Originally from Pine Bluffs, the 25-year-old Garcia placed first in the half marathon in 1:10:26.
“Besides the elevation, it definitely proves quite a mentally challenging and physically challenging course,” he said while attempting to catch his breath. “I really do enjoy that, especially with every uphill there’s always a downhill. It’s just you against the clock and trying to muscle through and get to the finish.”
Garcia won the 10k last year and was one of many runners who got the chance to run on the revamped course. The hills still presented a challenge, he said.
“At times when you probably feel most well is when they show up and then you get tired out,” he said. “It’s just an uphill battle. Sometimes you feel great, sometimes you don’t and you feel bad.
"For me, I enjoy the scenery and I really just didn’t come in with any expectations other than just going out and following the lead bike and pushing hard for a good effort.”
Garcia may not have come in with any set expectations, but headed back to Chappell, Nebraska, where he teaches and coaches cross-country at Creek Valley, with a first-place medal.
“It definitely is a good standard for next year, too,” he said. “Especially now that I’m taking up half marathons a little bit more. Definitely a good promising start and definitely a good step in the right direction.”
Thirty-year-old Maya Wilde of Cheyenne won the women’s half marathon with a time of 1:35:01, at a pace of 4:30.