On February 20, five Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members and employees participated in the 10th Annual Lost Dutchman Marathon. Some ran the half marathon and others ran the 10K or the 8K; the run started at Gold Canyon and ended in Apache Junction, taking runners through a scenic route starting at the Superstition Mountains near the rumored site of the legendary Lost Dutchman gold mine.
Proceeds from the race go to charity, for organizations such as school scholarships, the City of Apache Junction youth scholarship fund, Boys and Girls Clubs, and much more.
Those who ran in the event were Rachel Seepie, Tamar Gonzalez, Richie Corrales, Daniella “Zoey” Lewis and Theodus “Odie” Toney.
Salt River Fitness Center Senior Physical Fitness Specialist Rachel Seepie has participated in the Lost Dutchman Marathon for the past five years. The first three years she ran the 10K; for the last two years she ran the half marathon.
Seepie decided to do the half marathon this time because she felt there was more of a challenge with all the hills on the course. After finishing in three hours last year, this year she improved her time to two hours and 25 minutes.
“It was easier this year because I got experience from last year, and I also dropped about 10 pounds from last year,” she said.
Seepie started running after her sister Michelle got her into it. She did her first half marathon in the P.F. Chang’s event in 2007. “After that I did my full marathon in San Diego,” and she has also participated in the Arizona Ironman.
“I really wanted to start running because I have diabetes and I wanted to control my blood sugars, and it has helped, so I continue on running,” said Seepie. “I’ve been doing a lot of running [this year]; so far I did the P.F. Chang’s Marathon, and I’ve been doing a lot of the workout classes.” At the Salt River Fitness Center, she teaches spin, Zumba and weight-training classes, which also help Seepie control her diabetes and train for upcoming events, such as the Run for Ryan House at DC Ranch Half Marathon (which was held on March 5), Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association, and others.
“It was fun this year, starting off the run with Tamar, Richie and Zoey,” said Seepie about the Lost Dutchman.
With a little encouragement from trainer (Seepie), Tamar Gonzalez joined in on the Lost Dutchman Half Marathon, completing it in 2:35.
“This was my first year running in this half marathon,” said Gonzalez. “It was a personal goal of mine. A few of my friends had been telling me about the great experiences they had participating in this running event, and I wanted to experience it for myself.”
Gonzalez prepared by taking long runs at Tempe Town Lake, training with Seepie and taking evening classes at the Salt River Fitness Center. She started running half marathons this year with the P.F. Chang’s Half Marathon in January and planned to participate in the Run for Ryan House Half Marathon on March 5 and the Super Spartan Race on March 12. Gonzalez would also like to do the P.F. Chang’s Half Marathon in San Diego in June.
Richie Corrales participated in the Lost Dutchman Marathon event last year and “enjoyed being out there in Apache Junction. I felt I was getting a little bit out of shape, so I decide to sign up again this year,” he said.
Corrales ended his 13.1-mile run with improvement over last year, cutting 15 minutes off his time. “I was expecting to finish in a little after three hours, but I finished at 2:41,” explained Corrales.
“It turned out to be fun; I ran in the rain for a short while and jogged the whole 13.1 miles.”
Corrales’ interest in running started after interviewing Community runners for his articles in Au-Authm Action News. He has participated in four half marathons in the past two years. He also planned to make his next physical challenge the Super Spartan Race on March 12, and plans more half marathons in the future.
This was the first year that Daniella Lewis participated in the Lost Dutchman Marathon, where she completed the 10K. After training every day and receiving some encouragement from her training partner, Tamar Gonzalez, and trainer Rachel Seepie, she decided to give it a try.
Lewis experienced her run in the Lost Dutchman on a day that was cold and wet from the rainy weather. “I was also challenged with the elevation change,” she explained.
She started running two years ago with a half marathon in 2009, the First Annual Salt River Half Marathon. She continues to participate in half marathons such as the P.F. Chang’s Half Marathon, and looks forward to participating in the South Mountain Classic 20K and 5K on March 26 and the San Diego and Las Vegas P.F. Chang’s half marathons.
Odie Toney was unavailable for an interview before press time.
If you think you might be interested in running for fun, health and fitness, you may talk with Rachel Seepie at the Salt River Fitness Center; or, contact Arizona Road Racers at P.O. Box 37876, Phoenix, AZ 85069, (602) 954-8341, or www.arizonaroadracers.com.