Stan Justice

Stan backpacking in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge.

Describe your experience with the Equinox.  Have you participated in the full marathon, the relay, and/or the ultra?  How many times?

The first time I entered I was new in town and on a lark decided to run. But on race day they only allowed walkers to sign up.  Probably the highest finish for a walker – 4th.  I don’t know how many times I ran it before retiring from running.  Steve would call me “race marshal” but my only duty was to officiate the two train rules.  I take cookies to the crossing guards (and fill in if a crossing guard does not show up)

When do you start training for this race?  How much of the course itself do you incorporate into your training?  How often do you incorporate the Dome into your training? 

Back when I was running Aug 1 was the start of my marathon training but I had a good base as I entered many of the other runs.  I had various loops that would incorporate parts of the trail.  Knowing where the roots are helps because on race day they are obscured by the fallen leaves.  I was on the dome once a week or so. 

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race? 

One day a week I did intervals on the sledding hill – a lap around the flat field below and then all the way up to Yukon Drive.  I would start the year with 6 of them and work up to 15.  Would also do track 400 M intervals.  Then lots of trail miles.

What’s your favorite thing about this race? 

The people. 

What’s your favorite part of the course? Your least favorite part? 

Ester Dome – The trail sections.

Describe the best moment you’ve experienced during this race. Describe the worst. 

So many fun times hard to pick just one.  The year Patrick Cross and Audun Endestad were in the race.  Judge Taylor brought Audun next to me and says “follow this guy”.  He only did part of the course not wanting to hurt himself before ski season.  Patrick would fall behind on the trails as he had never run trails much.  He fell 3 times.  But he was so fast on the roads that he would catch us.  It was his first marathon.  The spectators were feeding him and cheering him on.  I assumed he was a new member of the ski team.  Turns out he didn’t know anyone – it was just Fairbanks being Fairbanks.  He holds the second best time.

The worst was not being able to continue due to chronic tight hamstrings.

Do you consider yourself a competitive runner? What are your running goals/fitness goals? 

Still competitive but… entered in ballroom dance competition in Senior games. 

What’s the best advice or training tips you can share with others who are new to this race? 

Pay attention to the roots in your training runs, do hill interval, and it is not over until it is over.  There were several times when I was not in front until nearing UAF. 

Have you made any big training errors, or race day flubs that adversely affected your enjoyment or time in this race? 

I probably should have done more core strength training and cross training.  The 100 mile weeks got me very fit for the race but left me vulnerable to injury.   Just as the train rule judge.

Any plans on participating in the Equinox this year? This race has been described as one of the most grueling marathons in the country!  What keeps you motivated to participate in this event?

Just as the train rule judge.


**Stan holds the record for the fastest Equinox Marathon ever ran in 2:41:30 set in 1984 at the age of 35.**






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