Cohutta’s Dean Thompson has become a fixture on the local running scene, usually leading the pack at area races.
It seems he is expanding his region of success.
Racing in just his fifth marathon, Thompson, 47, battled a head cold and a field of more than 2,240 participants to win the 16th Annual Bi-Lo Myrtle Beach Marathon this past weekend in South Carolina. His time of 2 hours, 39 minutes and 14 second took nine minutes off of his previous best marathon time of 2:48 accomplished at Myrtle Beach in 2011.
“I’m very surprised, especially given the fact I’m sick,” Thompson told The Sun News. “I didn’t think I had a prayer of winning.”
Thompson — who won the first two Dalton Red Carpet Half Marathons and took third place this past fall — passed 32-year-old runner Jason Luyster of Glenville, W.Va., inside the final two miles of Saturday’s race.