On the road

Sweetwater 56-year-old travels for work – and to run

FRUITLAND, N.M.

Submitted
Marian Yazzie uses her work as a tradeswoman to run in marathons and running events across the country. Last month, Yazzie ran in the Fargo Marathon in North Dakota and placed 34th in her age division and 1,302nd out of 1,463 overall.

Marian Yazzie often wondered what it would be like to pack her things and hit the road in her 2015 Dodge Ram pickup.

After talking about it with her sister just over a year ago, she finally did it.

“I wondered what it’s like to go and travel, get a job here and there, live, go running, go to different marathons,” she said. “That’s what I’m doing right now. I just like being on the road traveling. I don’t have anything holding me back.”

Yazzie, 55, uses her work as a tradeswoman to run in marathons and running events across the country.

When she’s offered a new job at a new location, she looks for race opportunities.

“I just like to challenge myself and keep myself motivated,” Yazzie said.

Last month, Yazzie ran in the Fargo Marathon in North Dakota. She placed 34th in her age division and 1,302nd out of 1,463 overall.

The day before the marathon she also competed in the 5K race.

She said she ran unprepared after sustaining a wrist injury, which kept her training at a minimum, but she ran anyway.

“It’s just the experience, just being part of it,” she said. “I know there’s a lot of people out there who like to compete, that want to get the best time, but for me I just like to be part of it, to show and have proof with the medal that I got.

“As long as I make it or survive a marathon,” she said, “it’s just a fulfillment in itself.”

Yazzie is originally from Sweetwater, Arizona, where she lived until just over a year ago when she got the itch to travel.

She stopped wondered what it was like to go when she pleased, restored her Dodge truck, and became a member of Tradesman International, a company that hires construction workers and sends them to locations throughout the country.

Her first stop just over a year ago was in Denver. Once the job was finished she planned to visit her daughter, Mikayla Schoenfeld, in Rangely, Colorado, and head back to the Four Corners.

While there she got another call to head east. She spent four weeks in Nebraska for another job before heading north to visit her son in North Dakota.

Once again, she found work in North Dakota and had an itch to race.

“I registered for the marathon in February and and I kept wanting to cancel it because I broke my wrist, but they told me I couldn’t get a refund,” Yazzie said.

“At the same time, ever since I started working in North Dakota that’s all I talked about – running, running, running,” she said. “I guess I motivated my boss and the head carpenter and they ran the full marathon too.”


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Categories: Track & Field

About Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at sunnie@navajotimes.com or via cell at (505) 686-0769.