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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Hopi Runner, Sekaquaptewa Sets Sights On Boston Marathon
by Crystal Dee - Hopi Tutuveni

“I like to finish strong. I know I can improve my time because I’ve been running a lot more and I’m much faster. My goal is run my fastest time at the Boston Marathon.”

Caroline “Kadoo” Sekaquaptewa

Caroline “Kadoo” Sekaquaptewa is water clan from the village of Sipaulovi. Her parents are Rosa Honanie and the late Phil Sekaquaptewa. She is the oldest of four siblings and a single mother of four girls ages 19, 16, 10 and 5 years old. She is in her 10th year of teaching at Salt River Elementary School as an Early Childhood Educator.

Moencopi Developers Corporation (MDC) is sponsoring both Sekaquaptewa and Stephan Ovah to participate in the Boston Marathon. MDC has paid for their registration fees and are having custom made uniforms designed for them. MDC is also helping them with fundraising efforts for their expenses.

What made you decide you wanted to run in the Boston Marathon?
When I did the Ironman Triathlon a couple years ago I knew that running a marathon was definitely possible if I could swim, bike and still run a marathon; I knew I could qualify. A couple months later at the 2013 PF Chang’s Marathon I tried to qualify, but I didn’t make the time. I trained some more and then in March 2013 I ran in the L.A. Marathon and beat my time by seven minutes. Running in the Boston Marathon is something I’ve always wanted to do, somewhat of a bucket list. I had always read about the Boston Marathon or watched the events surrounding the Marathon on T.V. There is a process in which one must go through to qualify to run in the Boston Marathon. The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) has a list of Marathons in which one can run to beat the qualifying times. Qualifying times are based on age. The qualifying time for Sekaquaptewa is 3:40:00 for her age and she beat it with a time of 3:33:00 at the L.A. Marathon.

When you beat the qualifying time for the Boston Marathon, how did you feel?
I was running with one of my friends and we didn’t get a good start and I kept looking at my time. We knew we were supposed to be at a certain point of the race. I started doing the math and figured out where we should be at a certain time and I thought we could make it. Then halfway through I looked at my time again and told myself “I think we can make it”. Without hesitating we both took off and started running fast. We started running at a fast pace at the 13 mile mark to the end. When we finished, our bodies were hurting. It was worth the pain.

What does it mean for you to run in the Boston Marathon?
I’m excited because I’m reaching another goal that I have set for myself. To be a member of the Hopi tribe, running in the Marathon is a good feeling. Stephen Ovah will also be representing the Hopi tribe. I don’t know of any Hopis who have run this particular marathon, but it’s always neat to see your tribe represented. I know I will be thinking about everything out home. I’ll run for my family and for people that can’t run. This is a big deal to me compared to a “pahanna” running it.

How have you prepared yourself for the Boston Marathon?
I’ve done a lot more running this year than I’ve ever done. I train with a running coach who sends me workouts every week. A lot of the workouts have speed work on the track and more miles so I’m able to run faster for a longer time. In addition I’m doing strength training and taking care of my body better. I haven’t had a whole lot of injuries and I’m thankful for that. I train all year and I don’t ever take breaks. In October and November I had some health problems and I was barely running. Once I started my treatment I started training hard again. In January I started getting back into shape. I don’t know if I would be training as hard without my coach. On my off days I go swimming because I need to stay active and I try to stick to my schedule.

What is your diet like?
I eat all the time! I eat several meals all day. I rarely drink soda and I drink a lot of water. After I run I refuel and get ready for the next workout. I eat a lot of protein, fruit, vegetables and salads; I try to stay away from greasy foods. If I do well, I’ll treat myself.

What is a typical week for you as far as training?
Lately, I’ve been running 50-60 miles a week, run a track workout and I run hills. On my rest days I swim because I’m going to participate in the Ironman again this year and I’m preparing for that. I also ride my bike and do strength training twice a week. I workout early in the morning at 4 a.m. because it’s harder for me to workout in the evening and my girls participate in basketball and other activities. I also participate in short distance races with a group of friends from the Healthy Active Natives (HANS).

Have you taken a look at the course?
Yes, I have and it shows where the hills are and I have been talking to two individuals from Leupp and Tuba City, who have ran the Boston Marathon about the course and what it’s like. They are always excited to share information with me.

What is your strategy for running hills?
I’ve been running hills out home and in races. When I’m running hills I think positive thoughts and tell myself I like running them. I always think positive because when you think negative thoughts your mind starts to believe them. Hills are where you catch people and you have to be strong running up the hills.

What is your strategy in getting through the marathon?
I’m kind of new to running marathons; I’ve only ran in six. I find it helpful to break-up the run into six sections and I have a set time to run in those sections, so my strategy is to stay within those times. I like to save my energy until the end of the race. I have been asking people about the course. The big thing is to be patient because it’s a long race. I like to finish strong. I know I can improve my time because I’ve been running a lot more and I’m much faster. My goal is run my fastest time at the Boston Marathon.

Have you set a time in which you want to finish the marathon?
I haven’t picked a specific time, but I know I can run faster than I did in my last race. I know I can beat that time.

Who or what is your inspiration in getting through the race?
I think about when my kids when it’s getting tough. I think of how they support me. My youngest told me, “Mom, I’m praying for you to win the Ironman.” Little things like that keep me smiling and keep me going. I do everything for them and I want them to see me succeed and reach goals that I set for myself so that they will be the same way. I also think of home on the reservation and my family. It gives me strength when I think about them.

Being a Hopi woman, what does it mean to you to run in the Boston Marathon?
I hope more people will do it because we have a lot of good runners out home and I hope that people know that they can do it. They have the talent to go and run in these bigger races. I hope more people will go and experience something like this. It’s exciting.

Would you say running in the Boston Marathon is more exciting than participating in the Ironman?
No, it’s about the same. It’s really exciting because I’m running in it for the first time which makes it better then the Ironman.

What races have you run in the past year?
January 2014 I ran the PF Chang’s marathon, Sells Half Marathon, 10K in Paradise Valley and the Ragnar Relay with a group of friends who are on the team. The Ragnar Relay is 200 miles; the relay begins in Wickenburg and ends in Tempe. There are six members in each team and they run 25-30 miles each.

How does your family feel about your running in the Boston Marathon?
My family is very excited and they have been very supportive. My daughters want to go but I can’t take them with me because of the cost and I don’t want to take just one and they would miss a week of school. Sekaquaptewa’s mother, Rosa said she is very excited for her daughter and very proud of her because of the work she has put into getting where she’s at. “We are very supportive of her,” said Rosa. “My son, mowii, Sam and her husband will be at various locations throughout the race to cheer her on. Having that support means a lot knowing someone is there for you.”

What are you doing as far as fundraising and who will be travelling with you?
Well it started off with my mom, but now I have my brother, his wife, my cousin Samantha Antone and her husband going. We are all fundraising to get our travel expenses covered.

There was a fun run on Feb. 13 for Stephen Ovah and Kadoo. In addition, there is also a raffle ticket sale where local artists have donated their handcrafted pieces to be raffled off for this event.

“I’m really grateful for the all the people who are supporting me such as MDC and the people who are helping with fundraisers, and the people donating to the raffle. I’m very excited and grateful for their support. I know Stephen is going to run hard, he always runs fast. So I’m going to run hard and do my best to represent our tribe,” said Sekaquaptewa.

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