NMU students prepare for Marquette Marathon


Photo courtesy of Anna Nagy

ON THE RUN – Anna Nagy runs the Queen City Half Marathon in Marquette. Nagy has been running since she was in high school and has volunteered at the Marquette Marathon previously.

Nathan Kwapisz, Sports Writer

Faith King, senior social media design management major, finds her motivation to run from her old coach. King’s coach from high school will get up at 3 a.m. and attend to her responsibilities such as being a mother of two and a high school chemistry teacher. 

“She is definitely somebody that I look up to,” King said. “She is always running in different races, whether it is 5k’s [or another distance]. And just this past week, she competed in the Boston so that was really cool to see her be able to do that because it has been one of her goals.”

King plans on running the Marquette Marathon on Sept. 3. King has been training constantly since her past injury, a stress fracture which forced her to take a break from running for a time.

“So I went from running like seven miles a day to not running at all for eight weeks, which was definitely interesting. I did like cross country and track in high school, so I have always ran,” King said.

The Marquette Marathon seems to be a huge motivating factor for King and other local runners. The Marathon brings the community of U.P. runners together as well as others across the nation. 

The Marquette Marathon begins in the town of Ishpeming. The race then moves along the Iron Ore Heritage Trail and ends in Marquette. The Marquette Marathon shows the beauty of U.P. nature, which is a big pull for national runners. The Marquette Marathon also has become the fastest qualifying race for the Boston Marathon, according to the Marquette Marathon website.  

Anna Nagy, senior neuroscience major, is another local runner and NMU student who is planning on running the Marquette Marathon this weekend. She has had a lot of interesting race experiences in the past, including running with and against a senior citizen. 

“We were just chatting while we were running the Queen City [Half Marathon] and we were passing each other consistently and going back and forth at the end,” Nagy said. “Then we finished together. She was probably 60 or 70. I do not know if she was a lot older but it was just really nice and it was fun and we were encouraging each other.”

The Marquette Marathon brings together the community of the U.P. and NMU. With many chances to volunteer, members of the community and university will step up to help each other out. 

Nagy volunteered for the Marquette Marathon her freshman year. She enjoyed working with the wider Marquette and NMU community to support the marathon and is looking forward to being a contestant in the race her senior year.

“I really enjoyed [volunteering],” Nagy said. “All of the different clubs at NMU are volunteering and they are working together. It brings a lot of nonprofits and businesses together for this one common goal to put on this race for people.”

The Marquette Marathon provides one common theme among all the community members that participate in it: pure enjoyment. Not only is the race atmosphere exciting for a lot of people, but the course winds through scenic environments that make for a pleasant experience.

“I just think it’s a beautiful course,” Sarah Watling, junior sociology and Spanish major, said. “And it just brings people from all over who just love running.”

Watling is a part of NMU’s cross country club and has been training with her friends to run the Marquette Marathon this weekend.

“I take a rest day every single week and never skip it,” Watling said. “Training with my friends does not feel like work or like training. It is more like, ‘Oh, I get to go hang out with these people and do something productive’. We are not going to be on our phones. We are not talking to anyone else. We are purely in the woods just with each other.”

For Watling, training is not just physical. She also has to train mentally as well.

“It is a mental battle. It is not like you can feel good every day,” Watling said. “As soon as you get out there and you are like, ‘Oh, this is really tough … but I am tougher’ type thing. So getting through that and then also sometimes there is a stigma about being super thin, like thinner is faster.” 

Watling, Nagy and King are among hundreds of participants that will be running the Marquette Marathon, Marathon Relay, Half Marathon, 5K and the 1 Mile Pebble Fun Run on Saturday, Sept. 3. 

“[Running] is just a cheap, easy mental escape as well,” Watling said. “You only need your shoes and Marquette has the best trails around.”