In Alaska, the mountain racing community is small. So when powerhouse Najeeby Quinn felt an unfamiliar stride creeping up on her during a race a few years ago, she was immediately intrigued.


“She almost passed me and I held her off by a second and I was like, ‘who are you?’” she said.


That was Christy Marvin, a long-legged mother of three who burst onto the scene by breaking a number of records at Kal’s Knoya Ridge Run, the Government Peak Climb and the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb at Bird Ridge.


A rivalry was born.


“Najeeby and I are die-hard competitors with each other,” Marvin said.


The two women found they often placed first and second at races. Collegiate stand-out runner Marvin usually darts out at the start, trying to get as much distance between the two as she can. However, before long the two are neck and neck, challenging the pace until the finish.


“She usually catches me somewhere in the hiking portions and then pushes me a little harder than I’d like to be pushed,” Marvin said.


After a few races, the women noticed that while they came from different backgrounds, they had a lot of similarities. Both have slender builds, a strong work ethic and a certain maturity.


“Our age — the fact we’re both getting to be old ladies,” Marvin joked.


Marvin is 35 and Quinn, 36 — numbers that comfort each other when they realize a lot of their competitors are half their age.


“You go talk to the 18-year-olds that are sponsored by Solomon and that’s their job and it’s a little different for them,” Marvin said.


The two women said training together has made them better and faster runners. However, on race day, the laughter disappears and their competitive natures fuel another battle to the top of the mountain. Perhaps this year, enough to break the women’s record on Mount Marathon.


“Even though I want to beat her, I also want her to do well and I want her to have a great race,” Marvin said.


KTVA 11’s Emily Carlson can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.




KTVA will have complete LIVE coverage of the men’s and women’s Mt. Marathon races on Monday, July 4 beginning at 10:30 a.m. Watch the coverage on KTVA 11, GCI Channel 1 and streaming online at 



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