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Running Today: Marathons and Ultra Distance Events

Marathons present one of the greatest challenges to a runner - in the distance covered and the training required. This list of marathons was provided by the exhibit advisors and reflects events that are notable and challenging. Native American runners have participated in each of these and have often been among the top finishers.

The Boston Marathon

Empire State Building Run-up

Grant's Pass

New York City Marathon

Pike's Peak Marathon

Route 66 Marathon

Taos Marathon

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Boston Marathon

Native American First and Second Place Finishers in the Boston Marathon
1901 Bill Davis (Mohawk), placed second, 2:34:45
1907 Tom Longboat (Onondaga), winner, 2:24:54
1912 Andrew Sockalexis (Penobscot), placed second, 2:21:52
1936 Ellison "Tarzan" Brown (Narragansett), winner, 2:33:40
1939 Ellison "Tarzan" Brown (Narragansett), winner, 2:28:51
1979 Patti Lyons (Micmac), second female finisher, 2:38:22

For information on the Boston Marathon, click here.

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Empire State Building Run-up

In 1976, the New York Road Runners Club began a new kind of race. Runners are routed up the 86 flights of stairs to the top of the Empire State Building, 1576 steps in all, where they are greeted by King Kong. Winners' times average about 12 minutes in this exerting race. Run in February every year, the race is run in three heats to cut down on the obvious crowding problems. Al Waquie has won the race several times.

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Grant's Pass

Grants Pass, New Mexico holds a quadrathalon each year, during Presidents Day weekend. The route leads to the top of Mount Taylor. The event includes, in sequence, a thirteen mile bike ride on paved road, a five mile run on gravel road, two miles of cross country skiing, and one final mile of snowshoeing on steep terrain before facing the return route. The entire event includes 22 miles and athletes specific to each event.

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The New York Marathon

The New York City Marathon was first held on September 13, 1970. It's first route was doing laps around Central Park, including some gruelling hills in the north of the park. Gary Muhreke won, earning himself a recyled trophy and a wristwatch bought out of pocket by the race director. There were 127 entrants, 55 finishers. In 1976 it moved to the roads, in a route that covered five boroughs, and with a few changes it has remained basically the same, snaking over five bridges to its end point in Central Park. In 1980, Patti Catalano placed second for women, the first American woman to run a marathon under 2:30, clocking in at 2:29:34.

The marathon is organized by the New York Road Runners Club, and now takes place in November. In 1995 Alberta Salva won the marathon, making a record
time of 2:08:13.

For information on the New York City Marathon, click here.

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Pike's Peak Marathon

One of the oldest marathons in the US, the Pikes Peak marathon was first held in 1966 on August 18 and 19. It follows paths built in the 1920's, through Barr Camp at about 10,000 feet. There are two races, the one on the first day being an ascent run only and admitting 1800 participants. The second day is the marathon, which runs up the mountain and back with 800 competitiors. The climb is steep enough that a runner who would run a three hour marathon on flat terrain takes three hours to make the ascent alone. Steve Gauchupin overcame the altitude and climb to win for five years running from 1966-1970, and Al Waquie won three times, (1979-1981).

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Baggett's 76 City of Gallup Route 66 Marathon Classic

contributed by Tanya Sheka, Zuni Pueblo

An inaugural event held in Gallup New Mexico on October 7, 1995. Joe Kieyoomia a Navajo from Albuquerque, New Mexico and Tanya Sheka a Zuni from Zuni, New Mexico were the top male and female finishers. Kieyoomia toured the course in 2: 54:16 and Sheka posted a 3:43:10 time to claim top honors. Other Zuni runners who competed in the grueling 26 mile race were Jeromey Chavez who finished second behind Kieyoomia in 3:02:53. Eldred Bowekaty who finished in 3:49:13 and Lorentino Christian who finished in 4:46:58.

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Taos Marathon 

For more information on the Taos Marathon, click here.  

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