Manuel “Tico” and Margaret “Marge” Navarro moved to Albuquerque in 1980 with his family from Connecticut to live a healthier life in a city where “you can ski in the morning and play tennis outside in the afternoon”. When he arrived, he opened a small specialty running shoe (Sunsports, Inc.) in order to promote running as a great sport and lifestyle. On Thanksgiving Day in 1981, he organized his first race called “Turkey Day Fun Run” in Albuquerque.
Because of the success of that event he decided to try to organize a marathon event in the city that would go on every year for many years. He put together a group go runners in the community to help him and with the help of then mayor Harry Kinney they planned the “First Annual Duke City Marathon”.
With the help of the city they encouraged the “Duke of Albuquerque” from Spain to come to the city to start the race.
This original event started with approximately 200 runners and has grown to over 5000 runners in 7 different events at the same time. In its 33 years, the “Duke City Marathon” has grown into one of the premier events in the state and the book end event for the city in October. As the state’s premiere running event, the Duke City Marathon is the largest and longest running marathon in the history of the state of New Mexico. A qualifier for the Boston Marathon, the Duke City Marathon attracts thousands of runners from all over the state and country. The Duke City Marathon also host a Marathon Relay, Half Marathon run/Walk, and 5k Run/Walk. The marathon is ranked as one of the top 25 marathons in the world
Tico and Marge’s dedication and countless hours have been the driving force behind the event for all these years, Manuel has been the Race Director for every event and Margaret has been Secretary of the board, board member and overall mom for all the volunteers through the years. They formed the DCM foundation to give proceeds from the race to local charities.