Interview with Justus Albertson on His POW Marathon Experience! - P.O.W. Report

Monday, March 11, 2019

Interview with Justus Albertson on His POW Marathon Experience!


The 20th annual Prince of Wales Island Marathon will be happening on May 25th 2019 and POW Report was able to sit down with Justus Albertson, a young man, who ran the Marathon in 2017.


For a little background, Justus Albertson graduated from Ketchikan High School in 2014, went to UAA and graduated from ROTC this last December and is now attending a Basic Officer Leadership Course specializing in Logistics as an officer in the Army. His specialty is much like the Alaska Marine Lines, “but the Army version. We arrange for things to be transported and shipped from Point A to Point B but with the added complications of doing so in what can easily be considered a dangerous environment.”

And as of this writing, Albertson just did a big road trip from Anchorage to Virginia for his training that is happening now at Fort Lee, Virginia at the Army Logistics University. The Logistic Basic Officer Leadership Course is four months and then he will be in service for four years.

Originally, Justus wanted to be a Coast Guard swimmer, which was inspired by his swimming competitions in high school. However, there were no recruiters for that during his Junior year in high school and he initially joined the National Guard. While staying in the Alaska National Guard was tempting, he wanted to be more of service to this nation and to adventure, so he put in his packet to go into the Regular Army (the active piece of the Army). For his dedication to America’s Military, we thank him!


Prince of Wales is the first and only marathon that Justus ran and initially Justus was going to run with his friend Luke Jones, who is also from Ketchikan and during the summertime works as a commercial fisherman. However, once fishing season kicked off his friend was unable to join him during the POW marathon. “So,” Justus chuckled recalling the turn of events, he decided to do it by himself and “wing it.”

“I did a couch to Marathon in 30 days…” when asked if he found an app to help him Albertson replied, “Nope, I basically found a video on YouTube of a guy who did a marathon from his 'couch to a marathon' and it inspired me!” Which, dear reader, was even more impressive considering at the time Justus only had 28 days till race day and when asked to elaborate on how he found motivation in such a short time Justus answered,

“People get inside their heads a little too much, there’s a ‘paralysis by analysis’ and you’ve just got to do it! Many people say, I’m not ready for it, I’m not in good enough shape, I have to have the perfect shoes and they nitpick everything and talk themselves out of it…there’s a saying, ‘ready, fire, aim.’ Sometimes, you’ve just got to go for it…wing it… and make adjustments later.”

When Justus runs four miles or shorter, he does it with music, if it’s longer than four he doesn’t, the reason why is because he swam his whole life and ran track in school and as he put it, “music ramps you up, however, it’s unsustainable—you can’t listen to Rocky and run slow.”

A few days before the race he downloaded a four-hour long podcast by Jocko Willink a former Navy Seal who wrote several books including “The Dichotomy of Leadership” to keep his mind occupied while running the marathon, unfortunately, he forgot his headphones in Ketchikan.

FORTUNATELY, Justus met an interesting teacher who taught at a community college in Washington and they ran and talked for most of the race till about the 18-mile mark.

The POW Marathon was ‘brutal’ according to Justus. The course in 2017 was roughly 13 miles out and 13 miles back taking the same route. The ‘brutal’ part that Justus is referring to is the middle 13 miles because it had steep up hills followed by steep down hills. The constant thought of “jeez, another hill…!” was what made it tough, all the while knowing, you had to take the same number of hills going back the other direction. However, it was a good challenge and he hopes to qualify for the Boston Marathon someday in the future.

For those that may have met Justus—he is very modest. When asked how fast he ran he said, “only 4 hours and 43 minutes,” we did the math and that is an average of 10-minute miles and Albertson placed 9th overall!



We hope that this story inspires you to join us this May for the Prince of Wales Marathon and it is never too late to jump off that couch and start training!

Sign up for the marathon [here]. 

Accommodations and Transportation may be found [here].


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Read More: POW Marathon a Destination Race: Interview with Julie Decker




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