For the fifth time in six years, I covered the annual To Bone and Back 40-mile ultramarathon and relay on Saturday. It was a good day for eastern Idaho as several local runners claimed division titles at the race in its second year under the direction of Janson Jardine and Brett Hill of Vector Timing.
Bringing it home at To Bone and Back
Several locals won their divisions, including Kyle Baldwin as repeat solo champion
By MARLOWE HEREFORD
The finish line to the annual To Bone and Back relay, 40-mile ultramarathon and five-mile run is becoming a familiar sight to Kyle Baldwin.
The 2013 Bonneville High School graduate made it three-for-three in the 40-mile solo division, crossing the finish line at Summit Orthopaedics in five hours, 53 minutes, 28 seconds to much applause and cheers from his family members lining Cortez Street. The solo division win is the third in the last five years for Baldwin. He completed the 2012 race for his senior project on how to conquer asthma through exercise and was last year’s solo division winner in his first To Bone and Back appearance since returning from his LDS mission in 2015.
All three of Baldwin’s winning times broke the six-hour barrier. Per Vector Timing founder Brett Hill, Baldwin joins Nephi Gold as the only back-to-back To Bone and Back solo division champions.
The big picture perspective of winning eastern Idaho’s oldest relay is not lost on Baldwin, who didn’t start running distance until switching from soccer to cross-country as a high school senior.
“It blows my mind,” Baldwin said. “I can’t believe I’m 22 years old and running a 40-mile race. I really have to thank my family for supporting me. I couldn’t do this without them.”
Baldwin said his goal for his third To Bone and Back appearance was to complete it in less than six hours. He credited devoting ample time to training on hills and his experience at the Boston Marathon, which he completed in 2:57:14 on April 17 in his first time running the storied race, for helping him finish Saturday.
“Honestly, I think the Boston Marathon helped a lot,” he said. “Dealing with a lot of people and how they set a pace.”
Baldwin next plans to run the Ririe Days Half Marathon and Jackson Hole Marathon—both of which he ran last year—as well as the Wolverine Canyon Marathon in the coming months. Looking back on the runner he’s become since his senior project, he said he knew what he would tell his younger self.
“I’d say anything is possible if you only put your mind to it,” Baldwin said.
The first female finishers in the solo division, Deanna Halford and Christine Boyle, crossed the finish line together in identical times of 6:02.25 and gave each other a hug afterwards. Both had previously completed To Bone and Back as part of a relay team, but chose to compete in the solo division Saturday to commemorate turning 40 this year.
Halford and Boyle said they had never completed anything as long as Saturday’s race before.
“This race will be the longest I’ve ever done by 10 miles,” Halford said. “This was really hard. I have a 31-miler coming up in August.”
Both women said they didn’t train as well as they could have for Saturday, which made finishing all the more relieving. Although staying close together was not intentional, they were both glad they ended up completing the race that way.
“Deanna can run hills better than me,” Boyle said. “She’s an awesome cyclist and soccer player.”
“No, I can’t,” Halford said, laughing before continuing. “It was a good thing we stayed together. She helped me with some of the tough spots and vice versa.”