Marathon Runner with Pacemaker Makes Good Time in Seattle Marathon

Mark Wagner of South Kitsap, featured in Sunday’s Kitsap Sun, is a marathon runner with an artificial heart valve. Sunday’s Seattle Marathon was his sixth since the heart valve was installed in 2000 to corrected a congenital defect.

Mark Wagner, Marathon Runner
Mark Wagner, Marathon Runner

Wagner took up running marathons after his open heart surgery in part to prove to himself that he could do it, in part to raise funds for the international charity World Vision. In 2008, he needed a pacemaker installed.

Sunday’s marathon, just over 26 miles, was Wagner’s shake-down cruise for the pacemaker, which held up nicely. Wagner’s time was five hours, fifteen minutes. Although he didn’t beat his best time of 4 hours, 29 minutes and 45 seconds, he was pleased considering “I’ve never seen a marathon with so many hills.”

Also, one thing I didn’t mention is that five months before the marathon, he was in a wheelchair. A fall at work injured his leg, and because he takes blood thinners, he had internal bleeding for which he was hospitalized in March. By June, he was walking again, and by July he was training for Sunday’s race. Guess, we’ll just have to start calling him Mark “the Energizer Bunny” Wagner.

Wagner will take a couple weeks off before starting to train for the Eugene (Ore.) Marathon in May.

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