POW Marathon a Destination Race: Interview with Bonnie Hamar - P.O.W. Report

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

POW Marathon a Destination Race: Interview with Bonnie Hamar

By Gretchen Klein

This week we are featuring a highlight from Bonnie Hamar of Kasaan a regular at the Prince of Wales Marathon. Our hope is that this story will inspire and encourage you to join us as we celebrate the 20th year of the Prince of Wales Marathon on May 25th!

“It’s the most beautiful place on earth! Prince of Wales has it all.” Bonnie Hamar


Bonnie has been inspired to be part of the marathon not only for the gorgeous fresh air, wildlife along the way and beautiful mountains, but to also show her children that with determination, exercising and eating healthy you can accomplish anything! Bonnie believes that exercising everyday regardless of if it’s walking, running or other exercise will prepare you to walk a marathon.


Bonnie didn’t really walk or run, but she got the wild idea to walk the marathon in 2012 and she wanted to prove to herself and others that she could do it without training for it. Bonnie recalls how wonderful the treats and drinks are at the aide stations. Although on her first full marathon, her son in law brought her a cheeseburger halfway through. Cliff bars were also a great treat and bananas helped with cramps along the route. Stormy, her husband, is also a regular on the course and cheered her into the finish line. During this particular year it was Stormy’s second marathon as he ran in 2009 with their son who had just graduated high school that year.

Without any training whatsoever she walked the 26.2 mile Prince of Wales Marathon in 10 hours! The next time Bonnie walked the event was in 2016 with her husband and daughter.

She was hooked on competing as a Roller Derby competitor on Prince of Wales and practicing yoga over the year. During this race while her son was at the intersection of the Klawock-Hollis Highway and Boundary Road, Bonnie’s goal was to do a cartwheel across the road at the half waypoint to show him that no matter how old you are, you can do anything if you set your mind to it. Even though she was tired, she completed that cartwheel and “Boy did it feel good!”

“It was my competition and my inspiration to walk the full marathon in three hours less than I did four years prior.”

Bonnie shaved three hours off her time and walked it in 7 ½ hours motivated by keeping up with her daughter who was twenty years younger than her. She mentioned that the biggest difference this time around was that she had been eating a healthier diet of simple foods and exercising daily. Her favorite foods are Chinese, Thai, and Korean. On a side note, one of the meals she would eat every-day for the rest of her life would be two eggs over medium, with crispy bacon and crispy hash browns.


Bonnie is inspired by all the elementary aged school kids across the island who run in the relay team options every year and as a grandmother of a beautiful young baby girl born a year ago and another one on the way, she hopes to inspire them to join her one day!

Tips Bonnie has for new parents:

Teach your kids health and fitness early on—it helps form a great relationship with food and fitness at an early age! Bonnie didn’t take care of her body as a young person, so as she became a parent and grew older, it was harder for her to learn how to eat good healthy food and exercise regularly.

Don’t forget to take care of your Feet!

“Oh yeah! Shoes do matter. I went to a specialist to get my first pair of full marathon shoes. I broke them in by wearing them during my morning workouts. They worked real well for me until the last two miles of the 2012 marathon. After almost 10 hours of walking on pavement, which I wasn’t used to, I took my shoes off and walked in my stocking feet. If you can find a good pair of shoes that fit you well and break them in a little it will make the world of difference. I think mine might have been a little too big, since I lost a toenail a couple weeks after the marathon.”


She also says adding music to her routine helps make the walk go faster and her favorites are classic rock, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and she likes to kick it up a notch with metal bands like Metallica and other modern music.

A kid at heart she mentioned that if she had to pick a place that she wanted to walk for hours it would be Disney World Florida or Disneyland California!


Join us to celebrate 20 years of the Price of Wales Marathon! 


For more information and to sign up find us [here]

Additional information on accommodations and transportation may be found [here].





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