Standing on Near Island just before 8 a.m. on Saturday, Joletta Silva felt nervous. 

Why? She was about to participate in the smallest marathon she had been a part of — only one other runner joined her at the starting line. 

It turned out, Silva had nothing to be concerned about. 

The former collegiate rower turned runner nearly broke the Run the Rock women’s marathon record with a sizzling time of 3 hours, 43 minutes, 39 seconds. Her time ranks second all-time (this was the 14th year of Run the Rock, but only 13th time for the marathon), behind only Bethany Gollin’s time of 3:33:50, set in 2019.  

What makes Silva’s time stand out is that she was the only lady in the race that featured two runners, while Gollin was one of three ladies in a field of eight runners. 

“I just got into my rhythm, and it felt good,” Silva said. “It was nice to have so many people cheering the whole time — it was really motivating.”

The marathon portion of KMXT’s Run the Rock started on Near Island, went down Antone Larsen Bay Road, and then finished at Bear Valley Golf Course. This was Silva’s second time competing in Run the Rock (she did the half-marathon in 2018), but first as an island resident. 

She moved to The Rock in January from California for a position with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She is a biological technician who studies crabs. 

Kodiak’s vast outdoor landscape has fit Silva well — she hikes and runs at least four times a week. 

“When I ran the half in 2018 I didn’t have a lot of time to train since I was observing and on and off boats all the time,” Silva wrote in an email. “When I finished that race, I was thinking how much I’d love to do the marathon. 

“I wasn’t sure if I’d be back on Kodiak at all, but when I did return and found out that the race was being held this year, I figured I had to do it.”

A California high school track athlete, Silva turned to rowing at the University of Miami when she wasn’t recruited for the track team. She spent four years as a key contributor for the Hurricanes, earning a scholarship her sophomore season. 

“I was never that good at rowing. I just loved it and had a good time with it,” Silva said.  

It was in graduate school that she started pursuing running and entered the Miami Marathon twice. She said her time on Saturday was better than her times in Miami.

“This course was so beautiful — there was a rainbow this morning,” Silva said.  

Todd Murdoch of seven-summit fame completed his first marathon in 4:12:11. 

In July, Murdoch completed the Discover Kodiak’s Adjust Your Altitude challenge in a then-record time of 13 hours, 30 minutes.  

It’s been quite a year for a man who just started running in May 2019 when he arrived in Kodiak via the Kenai Peninsula. 

“I didn’t know anybody and didn’t have anything to do,” Murdoch told the Daily Mirror in July. “I didn’t have TV and lived in my camper.”

So he ran and ran and ran, washing away a 14-year addiction to drugs and alcohol. 

“If we get clean, we get opportunities to do amazing things,” he said in July. “I couldn’t ask for much more of a life than the one I have now.” 

Run the Rock also featured a half-marathon, and 10- and 5-kilometer races. They all started at different times, with the 5K utilizing a staggered start to minimize contact during the COVID-19 era. 

The half-marathon wins went to Connor Whiteside and Rita Slowinski, both in 1:54:37. 

High schooler Nicholas Hecth grabbed the men’s 10K win in 43:39, while the women’s title went to Sophie Weaver in 49:44. 

The Mortensons — Curtis and Ashley — swept the 5K field. Curtis took the men’s honors in 18:08, while wife Ashley was the top female finisher in 21:02. 

Run the Rock was a fundraiser for KMXT.

Results

Marathon

Men 

1. Todd Murdoch, 4 hours, 12 minutes, 11 seconds. 

Women

1. Joletta Silva, 3:43:39. 

Half-marathon

Men

1. Connor Whiteside, 1:54:37; 2. William Long, 1:58:01; 3. Steve Cole, 3:11:23. 

Women

1. Rita Slowinski, 1:54:37; 2. Crystal Burnside, 2:42:02; 3. Hannah Bacewicz, 2:55:30; 4. Leslie Watson, 3:17:40. 

10-kilometer

Men

1. Nicholas Hecht, 43:39; 2. Kenny Matson, 49:44; 3. Russel Grimes, 50:49; 4. 4. Miles Grimes, 51:28; 5. Angus Bruce, 51:28; 6. John Stephen Powers, 52:08; 7. Kyle Friend, 59:06;  8. Mark B., 1:01:41; 9. Logan Tschuor, 1:05:34; 10. Daniel Dorado, 1:18:17. 

Women

1. Sophie Weaver, 49:44; 2. Kathryn Symmes, 49:52; 3. Meghan Mattson, 55:04; 4. Anna Zbitnoff, 56:24; 5. Natalie Horn, 56:24; 6. Meagan Bragg, 56:27; 7. Kathryn Ginsberg, 58:02; 8. Sara Bruce, 1:06:50; 9. Jessica Edelson, 1:07:09; 10. Sara Newby, 1:07:24; 11. Sherry Anderson, 1:18:38.

5-kilometer

Men

1. Curtis Mortenson, 18:08; 2. Elias Litzow, 18:12; 3. Max Robinson, 18:46; 4. Jerron Bruce, 18:47; 5. Bengt Anderson, 19:05; 6. David Castro, 19:08; 7. Jacob Sarnowski, 19:10; 8. Tyler Holforty, 19:15; 9. Simon Grimes, 19:46; 10. Isaiah Panthin, 19:48; 11. Joshua Hathaway, 20:07; 12. Elmar Barroga, 20:47; 13. Aidan Buschbacher, 21:00; 14. Makoto Seto, 21:09; 15. Gabriel Koehler, 21:26; 16. Tristen Klier, 21:38; 17. Benjamin Powers, 21:43; 18. Tristan Creelman, 22:33; 19. Jared Holforty, 22:42; 20. Noah Schrof, 22:53; 21. Devin Sharratt, 23:05; 22. Theron Glover, 23:39; 23. Richmon Incognito, 24:08; 24. Lars Anderson, 24:26; 25. Eric Litzow, 25:33; 26. Zachary Hecht, 25:34; 27. Landen Alford, 25:34; 28. Garrett Wood, 31:18; 29. Kazushi Seto, 31:21; 30. Genki Seto, 31:32; 31. Henry Pysher, 32:32; 32. Jonathan Dorado, 32:34; 33. Jeremiah Panthin, 32:37; 34. Jeremiah Panthin, 32:37; 35. Jacob Sanford, 32:46; 36. Taiyo Seto, 33:20;  37. Kyler Morales, 35:15; 38. Michael Sarnowski, 35:32; 39. Ronan Hinman, 36:00; 40. Arlo Pysher, 36:10; 41. Ian Bushell, 36:50; 42. Rohyn Anderson, 39:04; 43. Collin Gibbs, 40:07; 44. Jeff Sanford, 41:40; 45. Chad Pysher, 42:11; 46. Luke Alford, 45:42; 47. Caedmon Bushell, 53:48; 48. Logan Cole, 57:33; 49. James Arneson, 57:35; 50. Max Sanford, 59:33.  

Women

1. Ashley Mortenson, 21:02; 2. Abigail Harver, 23:10; 3. Hannah Asbury, 23:40; 4. Falyn Costello, 23:58; 5. Haiden Holforty, 24:41; 6. Hannah McCarthy, 24:56; 7. Leah Winegeart, 25:23;  8. Alyssa Prevatt, 26:01; 9. Payton Callahan, 26:22; 10. Elizabeth Parnell, 26:53; 11. Alison Jensen, 27:02; 12. Sarah Brazel, 27:03; 13. Serenity Bushell, 27:17; 14. Esther Overbeek, 27:26; 15. Kerri Zelenak, 27:54; 16. Grace Olsen, 28:22;  17. Jessica Hecht, 28:54; 18. Sara Scott, 29:33; 19. Alisa Abookire, 30:35; 20. Kilee Holforty, 30:36; 21. Sofia Wood, 31:11; 22. Megan Seto, 31:32; 23. Dianne Ibarra, 31:58; 24. Emma Bushell, 32:50; 25. Marissa Cornett, 33:35; 26. Carrie Asbury, 33:41; 27. Lacey Harver, 34:25; 28. Amanda Sanford, 34:29; 29. Kristine King, 35:22; 30. Kelly Sarnowski, 35:28; 31. Dannica Sharatt, 35:47; 32. Dawn Panthin, 36:46; 33. Melissa Anderson, 39:05; 34. Iris McGuire, 39:24; 35. Ursula Trosvig, 39:24; 36. Holly Hunter, 44:55; 37. Michele Alford, 45:42; 38. Kelly Krueger, 45:46; 39. Pam Cowley, 45:46; 40. Krista Bruce, 46:11; 41. Kristin Eads, 48:08; 42. Cassidy Eads, 48:09; 43. Sofia Castro, 48:24; 44. Joy Arneson, 49:45; 45. Halley Cole, 49:45; 46. Nancy Castro, 50:00; 47. Carmel Carty, 51:23; 48. Gema Dorado, 1:09:38.           

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