Meet Josh Marvil! Josh was born in New Jersey and moved to Michigan when he was 12, but his family have been coming to West Michigan (Whitehall) to visit his grandfather since he was a baby. Josh finished his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at U of M in 2016, then took on numerous eclectic jobs while he figured out what to do with his life, including a stint in the Peace Corps when he served in Botswana for two years as a clinic volunteer. Josh enrolled at Grand Valley for his Physician Assistant degree which he completed in 2022. He is now employed at a practice in Muskegon.
Josh found Run Muskegon in the spring of 2022 while he was doing his clinical rotations and training for the Detroit Marathon. He said he was looking for company on some of his runs as he was mostly training alone up to that point. Having finished that race, Josh continued to stick around for the supportive environment and community.
As a part of our Runner Spotlight, we also asked Josh to answer a few fun questions:
1. How long have you been running?
I oscillate between being a lifter who runs and a runner who lifts, so intermittently for ~15 years, and consistently for about 3 years now. I ran two years of track in high school, the second very unwillingly. The next time I ran was when I trained for an ~11 mile Tough Mudder in 2015. I trained for a half marathon when I was in the Peace Corps in 2018 (I had nothing better to do) but came down with food poisoning the week prior. The pandemic forced me out of the gym in 2020 and running has been a fairly stable part of my repertoire since then.
2. Do you race? If so, what is your most memorable race experience?
The last five or so miles of the 2022 Detroit Marathon were a memorable physical and mental hurdle. It did not feel “good”- but difficult in a way that was very satisfying because a lot of time and miles had gone into preparing for that race.
3. Ever run in a costume? If so, what?
4. Only running shoes for me are…
I try to rotate my running shoes fairly regularly but I always keep a zero-to-low drop shoe in the line-up i.e. Altras or Topos. I appreciate the design philosophy of a wide toe box and, anecdotally, I believe they benefit me from an injury prevention stand-point.
5. What is your worst running-related injury?
I was electrocuted at the end of the Tough Mudder (so was everybody else). Otherwise, besides a couple sacrificed toe nails and some occasional shin splint flares, running does not beat me up much. I have crunchy knees that I try to be diligent with pre-habbing and they sometimes get annoyed with me if I put too many miles on a single pair of shoes.
6. Hot or cold weather runner?
Now that I am no longer a broke graduate student, I have a new appreciation for cold weather because I am better equipped from an outerwear standpoint to deal with it. There is talk in my neighborhood of “the psycho who was out running in a snowstorm” which I find somewhat satisfying to hear of.
7. What is your motivation for running?
I am extrinsically motivated when someone talks me into signing up for a race. My weekly mileage tends to tank if I am not actively training for something. I will always try to put in at least one run a week to maintain general cardiovascular fitness and for overall health benefits, but running is not always at the forefront of my fitness focus if I have other primary goals I am pursuing at the time. Telling me that I won’t be able to do something also works pretty well as it triggers my stubborn side.
8. If I didn't run I....
Would lift weights faster.
9. I can't run without…
My Garmin. If I can’t report it on Strava then did I even do it?
10. What's the farthest you have run at one time?
26.2 miles for the Detroit Marathon. Planning on Bayshore this spring for a second marathon.