POW Marathon A Destination Race! Interview with Marvin Seibert - P.O.W. Report

Friday, January 11, 2019

POW Marathon A Destination Race! Interview with Marvin Seibert

Join us in this series over the next five months highlighting the visionaries of the very first Prince of Wales Marathon in 2000 and racers who have participated since then.

This week we are featuring a highlight from Marvin Seibert who participated in 2012. Please take a peek at Marvin's journey and we hope it will inspire you to join this year in celebration of the 20th year anniversary on the gorgeous island of Prince of Wales.

We sat down with Prince of Wales participate from 2012 Marvin Seibert to hear his story, and understand what inspired him to travel all the way from Colorado to participate in the Prince of Wales Marathon.

Marvin's inspiring journey started at 52 years of age at the Manitou Incline in Colorado.

"I was way over weight and well on my way to heart attack city. I just decided one day to do something about it. I made it to the top that day but it took me almost 2 hours to climb that one mile and had to lay down ½ hour before I could walk the easy trail down.”

Marvin started with 5K races and after he broke the 30 min milestone for the 5K he moved on to 10K and eventually the first of many ½ marathons. Marvin's ultimate goal was to run the Pikes Peak Ascent and then the marathon.

First he needed to qualify:

Marvin needed to bust through the 2hr 30 min minimum for a half marathon to qualify for the Pikes Peak Ascent. His first attempt to qualify was at the IMG Arizona Marathon in February near Phoenix.

"I missed that goal by a lousy 12 seconds! All that meant was that I needed to train harder and next year I qualified by more than a ¼ of an hour. I ran the Pikes Peak ascent for the first time which is 13.32 miles up to 14,100 feet.”

Unfortunately, 2.5 miles from the top his body ran out of electrolytes to keep functioning properly and Marvin could not raise his heart rate any longer past 100bpm. He was so close to the finish but could not advance any further.

"I learned a valuable lesson that day about electrolytes, proper hydration and fueling along the way.”

Marvin proudly completed the Pikes Peak Ascent and qualified for the Pikes Peak Marathon all after just starting to run at 52!

It was not long after the race that Marvin and his wife were planning to move to Ketchikan in a few years so they took a vacation in Ketchikan and went to POW to run the marathon.

"I had been running for 6 years then but after Pikes Peaks running from 6700 – 14,000 ft of Altitude, a sea level marathon looked to be easy.... I found out there are no easy marathons."

Everyone there was so nice and helpful. We had one of the best times we ever had before, during and after the marathon and we could not wait to move to Alaska!”

A few tips from Marvin:

"As far as fueling during the race, Hammer Nutrition I believe has the best products. I use Hammer Gel for Carbs during the race. My electrolytes are maintained with Hammer Endurolytes. For people who run high altitudes they are essential, your body uses them exponentially the higher in altitude you go. Once you let your body run out during the race there is no continuing that day. As far as a Sports drink I like Gatorade and I would suggest Hammer Heed, it does not have the sugar like Gatorade and it safe for Diabetics.

"Shoes do matter, I cannot emphasize enough how important they are. The Technology in race shoes is just so advanced. I use Brooks shoes for trail running and regular road running.

If you go to a large marathon in the lower 48 they usually have a large booth where you can run bare footed and they can figure out scientifically what is the best shoe for you."

Practice runs can be exciting! Take it from Marvin.

"I was doing Pikes Peak, Colorado and I was running around the 13,000-foot level. A thunderstorm with lightning moved in from the other side of the peak, there is nothing you can do at that point except pray. Hiding under a rock is perhaps the worst thing you can do. Lightning has a lot easier time of connecting with you when you surround yourself with all that iron laden rock. Anyway I continue to run up there now motivated to get to the top and out of harms way. I came upon a lady who was also running, and her shoes were steaming and burnt. The lightning had hit so close that there were burnt streaks through her shoes. What probably save her was she hunched down during the storm with her feet together next to each other. There was probably no good path for the lightning to travel through her.

One piece of advice, if you are serious about running a long time is get a running coach and work with the coach.

Join us on Prince of Wales this year. POW is part of the Alexander Archipelago in the southernmost portion of the Alaska panhandle.

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Article compiled by Arthur Martin and Gretchen Klein with permission and photos from Marvin Seibert.

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