Trail Blazer

Not many women were running back in the late 1960s when Marcie Trent started churning out the miles and inspiring others to do the same. She didn’t begin running until she was 50, but once she started, she never stopped.

Her many accomplishments included age-group world records in the marathon, 11 national age-group records at various distances and 25 Alaska age-group records.

Trent was a trailblazer not just for women and masters-level runners, but for Anchorage running. She was a co-founder of Anchorage’s old Pulsators Club, which organized some of the city’s first footraces and helped turn running into a popular pursuit.

She and her husband, John Trent, were familiar presences at Anchorage races for more than two decades. . John didn’t run but yodeled at races.

Trent was an age-group winner — and sometimes the outright winner — in too many Alaska footraces to count.

And she didn’t need a flat, paved course to excel. Trent claimed three victories in the rugged Equinox Marathon, where she recorded her fastest

time — 4 hours, 4 minutes — at age 60. She was 56 when she set the women’s record in Colorado’s Pikes Peak Marathon, running 27.8 miles with 7,000 feet of vertical ascent in 5 hours, 30 minutes.

In 1983, she set a world marathon record for women 65 and older by completing Boston in 3:47:25, and in 1988, she set a world marathon record for women 70 and older with a time of 4:11:54 at a race in Napa Valley, California.

Trent was born in 1917 and died in 1995 at age 77, when she was killed by a grizzly bear along with her son Larry Waldron while training at McHugh Creek. The annual Trent Waldron Half Marathon is named in their honor.

Beth Bragg

Highlights

  • Set marathon age-group world record for over 65, over 70
  • Elected to USA Track and Field Masters Hall of Fame (2002)
  • Three-time Equinox Marathon champion (all after age 52)
  • Co-founder of Pulsators Running Club, Alaska’s first running club

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