KMXT Marathon Draws Out-of-Staters

Half marathon and 10k runners at KMXT event, Run the Rock. (Photo by Pam Foreman / KMXT)

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

KMXT held its annual Run the Rock this weekend. Participants could run or walk a 5k, 10k, half-marathon, or marathon.

A couple of people flew into Kodiak just to take part.

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Amanda Naatz is from Indiana and her goal is to run in every state.

Alaska is the seventh she’s been to so far.

She finished the half-marathon in 2 hours and 35 minutes, but it’s not about the time for her.

“I don’t necessarily love running that far, but I love the hype and the atmosphere and there’s a runner’s high, and you get everybody together at that time and everybody’s running, and everybody’s cheering each other on, and it’s just that camaraderie of everybody being so happy for each other.”

She says she originally got into running for her health.

“Because I used to weigh 70 pounds heavier than I do now and it just was a goal to just kinda like, okay, I need to get healthy. Not just for myself, but for my daughter. And so, I just started running.”

Naatz says she’s done a marathon before, but she likes half marathons better.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever do another full marathon again. It was intense. I lost three toenails because of it. Runners’ feet can really take a beating.”

She says she lives in a pretty flat part of Indiana and she wasn’t quite prepared for Kodiak’s hilly terrain.  But it was worthwhile.

“I really enjoyed just kinda listening to nature and slowing down and taking in everything that Kodiak had to offer. It was just absolutely beautiful.”

Daniel Deboise, who’s from Alabama but works in California, also came for the experience, but says his overall goal is to qualify for the Boston marathon.

“So, I need to run about a 3:15, so I still have to cut down about 25 minutes off my time, but I’m chipping away at it.”

He says he hadn’t been aware that Kodiak is a Boston qualifier when he ran the marathon. But in retrospect, he’s kind of glad.

“‘Cause I would have taken it a little more intensely and wouldn’t have enjoyed it like I should’ve and thinking that it wasn’t, I just went out and was just going to run the best time I could run for that day. I knew it was a hard race, but in the meantime I was going to just enjoy it – enjoy seeing everything and the people and stuff. And I completely just did that and had a great time.”

He says for him running is like meditation.

Both competitors speak about the community and the friendliness they encountered while on the island.

Deboise says he ran the marathon in 4 hours and 54 minutes. He says he threw in a couple of extra miles when he realized he’d dropped his keys near the starting line and had to circle back.

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