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900 Runners Cross Finish Line of Marathon on Navajo Nation

The 32nd Shiprock Marathon in Red Valley, Ariz., took runners through portions of the Navajo Nation.
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At least 900 runners crossed the finish line at the 32nd Shiprock Marathon in Red Valley, Ariz., Saturday. The 26.2-mile race is run through portions of the Navajo Nation, and takes the competitors through a beautiful, but desert climate.

Navajo runner Harold Bennally, 32, from Page, Ariz., won the marathon in 3:03:01, just seconds before Lance Foster of Shiprock, N.M., who finished 3:04:03. Caroline Sekaquaptewa, a member of the Hopi Tribe, from Tempe, Ariz., edged out the women in that division, and placed fifth overall with 3:13:37.

"It was a good run," Sekaquaptewa, who set a new ladies course record, told The Daily Times.

Sekaquaptewa and Bennally had both competed in the Boston Marathon on April 20. Bennally told The Times he dedicated the Boston run to his father who died in April.

The race was not solely a marathon, however; registered runners could participate in a marathon relay, half-marathon, or 10K. And more than 2,000 people registered to run in this year’s race.

The half-marathon saw the closest finish of all the events. The winner, Alvin Begay of Ganado, Ariz., whose time was 1:14:29, and runner-up, Gavin Sosa of Shiprock, finished less that 20 seconds apart, according to the officially results. Dakota Willis of Kayenta was the top female finisher at 1:28:21.

Begay said this run was about having fun.

"Winning was a bonus," he told The Times.