Skip to main Content

One marathon, two records for Christy Marvin at 56th Equinox

  • Author: Beth Bragg
  • Updated: September 16, 2018
  • Published September 15, 2018

Christy Marvin made two kinds of history Saturday at the 56th Equinox Marathon in Fairbanks.

She became the first woman to win the race five times, and she lowered the race record she set in 2014.

Marvin, a 38-year-old from Palmer, trimmed more than two minutes off her previous mark by finishing in 3 hours, 15 minutes, 7 seconds.

Allan Spangler of Juneau won the men's title in 2:50:07, the 18th fastest time in race history.

Marvin has made an indelible mark on the storied race, which is considered one of the toughest marathons in the world. The 26.2-mile course includes 3,285 feet of elevation gain and is held on a mix of pavement, gravel and trail.

She owns three of the four fastest times ever recorded by a woman. Her 2014 time of 3:17:09 is now the second fastest in history, and her 2016 winning time of 3:19:54 is the fourth fastest.

"I love the Equinox race," Marvin told the Fairbanks Daily News Miner. "I love the community that surrounds it. I love the support of all the people who come together and how family-oriented it is."

Marvin said the Equinox embraces all participants, whether they are running, hiking or walking, whether they are adults or kids.

"Not every race is that way," she said. "I love the way the Fairbanks community does that because ultimately that's how you keep a race running for this long.

"… If there was ever a race I could be the winningest female, it's fun to have it (be) here, because this race exemplifies all the things I stand for too. I really love that."

Marvin is one victory away from matching three men — Stan Justice, Bob Murphy and Matias Saari — who share the record for the most all-time wins with six apiece.

Justice is the men's record-holder with a time of 2:41:30, set in 1984.

Spangler and Marvin both won by comfortable margins Saturday.

Spangler beat runner-up Cody Priest, the Chugiak High cross-country coach, by more than four minutes. Priest clocked 2:54:40 for second place, and Rick Lader of Fairbanks placed third in 2:59:40.

Marvin was more than 20 minutes ahead of women's runner-up Katie Murphy of Portland. Murphy finished second in 3:36:23, and Eagle River's Jan Tomsen was third in 3:38:06.

All five of Marvin's winning times rank among the all-time women's top 13. Her 2017 time of 3:21:11 ranks 10th, and her 2013 time of 3:21:31 ranks 13th.

Entering the race, Marvin shared the record for the most victories by a woman with Jane LeBlond (1999, 2000, 2001, 2010) and Tina Devine (1996, 1997, 1998, 2003).

This story has been updated to correct Cody Priest's time.