Navajo Nation VP Promotes Health & Wellness

Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez ran the full 26.2 miles for the 35th Shiprock Marathon on May 5.

Published May 8, 2018

SHIPROCK, NEW MEXICO – Continuing to promote the health and wellness movement on the Navajo Nation, Vice President Jonathan Nez ran the 35th Shiprock Marathon on Saturday. REIDZ won third with 3 hours, 9 minutes and 55 seconds.

He was joined by more than 2,200 runners who participated in the marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, kids’ marathon, 10k and 5k.

“I see a trend on the Navajo Nation of individuals pursuing a healthier lifestyle,” Vice President Nez said. “At running events, more and more people are running at greater distances. This year, at the Shiprock Half Marathon, we maxed out.”

Approximately 250 runners participated in the Shiprock Marathon and 800 participated in the half marathon. There were 125 five-person relay teams, more than 200 runners in the kids’ marathon, 159 runners in the 10k and 192 runners in the 5k.

“It was very exciting to see so many runners from across Diné Bikéyah and beyond join us for the 35th Shiprock Marathon,” said Tom Riggenbach, executive director of NavajoYES. “Kudos to all those who joined us. We look forward to seeing many of you at the Navajo Parks Races Series throughout the year and at next year’s Shiprock Marathon weekend on May 3-4.”

NavajoYES is a non-profit organization that promotes health and wellness on the Navajo Nation. It has coordinated numerous events and programs, including the Navajo Parks Race Series. The next three races are the Asaayi Mountain Runs on June 16; 12 Hours of Asaayi on Aug 18; and the Navajo Code Talker Run on Sept. 10.

Neil Rao won the marathon with a time of 2 hours, 55 minutes and 57 seconds. Daniel Ray earned second-place with 2 hours, 58 minutes and 5 seconds. Jeff Mescal, who got third place, ran it in 2 hours, 58 minutes and 38 seconds.

Leandrew Martine was the first-place winner of the half marathon and finished in 1 hour, 13 minutes and 41 seconds. Rodell Williams finished second in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Vernard Martinez, Jr. finished third in 1 hour, 17 minutes 12 seconds.

The Furious Five relay team won first, completing the marathon relay in 2 hours, 46 minutes and 40 seconds. The Tumbleweeds won second with 3 hours, 5 minutes 14 seconds.

Anthony Fleg won the 10k in 38 minutes and 43 seconds. Arlen Albert took second with 40 minutes and 12 seconds. Harry Chee took third with 42 minutes and 26 seconds.

Triston George won the 5k in 17 minutes and 49 seconds. Dontrelle Denetso took second with 21 minutes and 24 seconds. Terance Woody took third with 22 minutes and 3 seconds.

“A big congratulations to all of our runners who participated in the races in Shiprock,” President Russell Begaye said. “You did it. Thank you to the volunteers, sponsors and coordinators who made this year’s event successful.”

In addition, the Just Move It season began today at Standing Rock Chapter. There will be three runs on May 8: 9 a.m. at Baca Chapter, 7 p.m. at Grand Falls and 7 p.m. at Kaibeto Boarding School.

“We’ll see you on the trails,” Vice President Nez said.

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