Athlete of the Week: Marvelous Marvin is Equinox Marathon’s all-time champion after record-setting performance

Athlete of the Week: Mountain running master Christy Marvin
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 7:38 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTUU) - The Equinox Marathon in Fairbanks, Alaska, is one of America’s oldest and toughest.

The historic race that began in 1963 features 26.2 miles of Alaskan trail and terrain with an elevation gain and loss of 2,825 feet.

No one has claimed more victories than Palmer’s Christy Marvin, who won her record-breaking seventh Equinox Marathon on Saturday with a time of 3 hours, 19 minutes and 53 seconds.

Of all the challenges the race presents, just getting to the starting line at the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus may have been the biggest for Marvin.

“I had some issues with injury and a little bit of illness coming into this race this time,” Marvin said after her victory in the 60th Equinox. “Getting to the start line was the number one goal. And then once I made it here, it was really ... running very conservatively the first half so that I had the energy and the legs and the stamina to finish it off.”

After her first attempt at the race in 2012, Marvin rattled off six straight victories in the races she entered in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 before finishing runner-up in 2022.

″It is always the hardest section for sure, particularly for rookie racers,” Marvin said of Ester Dome, one of the marathon’s biggest obstacles. “The very first year that I ran this race, the out and back for me was an absolute nightmare — it was far harder than I expected. But now that I have run it so many times, I really know what to be prepared for, I know that it is going to hurt no matter what.”

Marvin is nearing the end of a mountain running season that featured her third Mount Marathon victory and her eighth straight win in the Crow Pass Crossing in July.