9th and 9th whale statue now home to an endurance challenge: ‘the whaleathon’

Nov 1, 2023, 6:27 PM | Updated: Nov 2, 2023, 9:34 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Call it fanaticism, endurance, or maybe just crazy, but these Utah runners have found a new way to challenge their endurance.

Local runners are starting to run marathons around the famous whale art installation at 900 South, 900 East.

A group of marathon runners were training for the Salt Lake City marathon when they got an idea.

“We jokingly ran 20 laps around the whale. During that, we thought it was funny to say, ‘oh it would be cool to run a marathon around this,'” runner Evan Service said.

Well Wyn Barnett turned that joke into a reality and became the official whaleathon founder.

“630 laps to a marathon,” Barnett said. “Your ankles and hips and knees start to take a beating which is why we switch directions every 30 minutes.”

Running in a small roundabout did not prove simple. Instead of a long straightaway, you’re going in circles at an angle. Barnett explained that your legs don’t really have a break because you’re either on the angle, either running uphill or running downhill.

“When we were at 400 laps knowing that we still had another 200 plus to go I was like, ‘oh, we’re in it. We hit the slump,'” Barnett said.

But Barnett pushed through and on Oct. 21, he finished the first-ever whaleathon.

Just shy of four hours,” he said. “The whale slowed me down a little bit.”

The new racetrack around the whale has gained the attention of other runners and locals.

Friends Jackson Bradshaw and Evan Service also ran the whaleathon.

Now they hope to use the Whaleathon to bring attention to the needs of water for the Great Salt Lake.

“The whale needs water and so does the Great Salt Lake,” Barnett said.

“The Great Salt Lake is something we need to protect and be mindful. We live in the desert,” Bradshaw said. “It wasn’t really the goal coming into it, we wanted to just do something absurd, but we knew that we might capture some attention, so trying to get some people aware of how important the Great Salt Lake is is really important.”

Eight other strangers have run the race. Anyone can run the whaleathon. All you have to do is run 26.2 miles around it in whatever way you want and send a picture of your tracking app to prove it.

“I’ll definitely do another marathon but none will be quite as memorable as this one,” Bradshaw said.

“It’s forever changed how I think about this intersection,” Barnett said. “I’ll never come through here and not think about the whaleathon.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

President Joe Biden spoke by phone with Netanyahu, and made clear that the US would not participate...

Rob Picheta, CNN

Israel vows to ‘exact a price’ after unprecedented Iranian attack while world leaders call for restraint

Israel pledged that it will “exact a price” from Iran as the country weighs its response to an unprecedented overnight barrage of drone and missile strikes while facing international pressure to de-escalate.

7 hours ago

police lights...

Mark Jones

Boy injured in ATV accident in Cache County

The Cache County Sheriff's Office says a 10-year-old boy was injured in an ATV accident on Sunday.

7 hours ago

Salt Lake City police are investigating reports of a shooting Sunday afternoon in the Liberty Wells...

Mark Jones

SLCPD investigating reports of a shooting in Liberty Wells neighborhood

Salt Lake City police are investigating reports of a shooting Sunday afternoon in the Liberty Wells neighborhood.

9 hours ago

A neighborhood in Highland came together after a pipe burst Saturday that flooded the area. Two hom...

Brianna Chavez

Highland neighborhood rallies behind neighbors after pipe burst causes damage to two homes

A neighborhood in Highland came together after a pipe burst Saturday that flooded the area. Two homes were left with significant damage.

10 hours ago

Otto Krauss, sponsor of a resolution calling on Utah to withdraw its membership from the Electronic...

Tim Vandenack, KSL.com

GOPers in Weber, Davis counties call on Utah to stop using ERIC system to maintain voter lists

The Electronic Registration Information Center, a national nonprofit body that helps clean and update voter lists in more than 20 U.S. states, is starting to garner suspicion from Utah Republicans.

13 hours ago

Pat Hill pictured in her obituary, smiling...

Mary Culbertson

Local hero and first female firefighter for West Jordan, Pat Hill, dies at 75

The first female firefighter at West Jordan Fire Department, Patricia Hill, has died at the age of 75.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

9th and 9th whale statue now home to an endurance challenge: ‘the whaleathon’