Mercer Island resident Michael Magnussen has competed in all six of the marathon majors in the world since 2016. Magnussen clocked a time of 2:56.21 at the London Marathon in May. This past February, Magnussen finished with a time of 2:55.40 in the Tokyo Marathon. Photo courtesy of Theresa Magnussen

Mercer Island resident Michael Magnussen has competed in all six of the marathon majors in the world since 2016. Magnussen clocked a time of 2:56.21 at the London Marathon in May. This past February, Magnussen finished with a time of 2:55.40 in the Tokyo Marathon. Photo courtesy of Theresa Magnussen

Running is a way of life for Magnussen

Hard work and determination pays dividends for avid Mercer Island runner.

A chance conversation at the Roanoke Inn on Mercer Island in 2013 changed Michael Magnussen’s life forever.

“A buddy of mine and I were sitting at the Roanoke having a beer and he told me he was thinking of running in the Seattle Marathon. He asked me, ‘You want to run it with me.’ I thought that was hysterical and the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life,” Magnussen said. “I told him I wasn’t really interested in running. After a while, he got me to commit to possibly running a half-marathon.”

It didn’t take long for Magnussen, who moved to Mercer Island in 2006, to discover a new passion he never thought was possible. Fast forward to five and a half years since that chance meeting at the Roanoke Inn: Magnussen has completed six world marathon (26.2-mile courses) majors. Magnussen conquered the final of the six marathon majors at the 2019 London Marathon in May, clocking a time of 2:56.21. This past February, Magnussen completed his fifth major marathon in Tokyo, Japan with a time of 2:55.40. The world marathon majors took place in New York, Boston, Berlin, Chicago, Tokyo and London.

Magnussen said he was running in Boston when he encountered an individual with a “sixth star.”

“He said it meant that he had ran all six of the marathon majors. I remember thinking at that time, that is ridiculous and is a lot of traveling to do to run. I was running with a buddy in Central Park (New York) in 2016 and we said to ourselves maybe we will try for it, too. We made the commitment to do it,” Magnussen explained.

The most recent marathon major (London) was Magnussen’s favorite of all time.

“That particular race was my favorite of the six. All of them have just been unbelievable experiences and all of them are completely different,” Magnussen said. “Running the London was unbelievable. You run along the Thames River, you go over the London Tower Bridge and you run by Buckingham Palace. London is such a cool city.”

The 50-year-old Magnussen, who completed in football and track in high school, never envisioned himself running long distances, let alone 26.2-mile marathons.

“In high school, I was a 100, 200 and hurdler at Redmond High School. I wasn’t a long-distance guy. To me, a 400 was long-distance run,” Magnussen said of his youthful days. “When I was younger, I don’t think I had the mentality to run 26.2 miles. Distance running was not in the cards. Now it is. I feel great. It is probably one of the best life decisions I think I’ve ever made. It has been a major undertaking for me. I have done 15 marathons now and two Boston marathons on top of that. I have run in a total of eight majors.”

Running in some of the most iconic cities on the planet has its benefits.

“The majors are so cool because you get to see some really cool cities. There is no better way to see a city than running. Seeing it from the side streets and experiencing it from the (running) routes is such a different experience,” Magnussen said.

Magnussen said running is part of his daily routine. During an average weekday, he runs for about 45 minutes after he finishes up at work. The weekends is where he pounds the proverbial pavement with gusto.

“On an average week, I run 40 to 60 miles per week. On the weekends, I’m pretty committed to it. Sometimes I’m running between 12 to 20 miles per day,” he said.

More in Sports

Maya Virdell, left, and Susie Lepow, right, will compete at the USATF Nationals Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships, which take place from July 22-28 in Sacramento, California. Photo courtesy of the Mercer Island Cross Country Booster Club
Mercer Island athletes compete at USATF Region 13 track and field championships in Tacoma

Maya Virdell and Susie Lepow will travel to California for Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships.

Mercer Island Islanders boys basketball player Nigel Seda, left, drives to the hoop in a game against the Interlake Saints during the 2018-19 season. Seda will be one of four returners to the starting lineup during the 2019-20 season. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders prove their mettle at Gonzaga team camp

Mercer Island Islanders boys basketball squad is an experienced group.

Alex Edwards captured USA Swimming All-American honors for his stellar 2018-19 season with the Mercer Island Islanders. Photo courtesy of Bruce Edwards
Edwards earns USA Swimming All-American honors

Stellar 2018-19 season garners recognition.

Mercer Island Islanders midfielder Matt Capone (right), passes the ball to a teammate in a contest against the Juanita Rebels during the 2019 season. Capone will play soccer at Northwest Nazarene University this fall. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Attaining a dream on the soccer field

Mercer Island 2019 grad Matt Capone will play college soccer at Northwest Nazarene University.

Mercer Island Islanders senior football player Bryce Fitzwilson utilizes speed and quickness on the gridiron. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Controlling the edge with speed and quickness

Stalwart defensive end Bryce Fitzwilson leads by example.

Mercer Island girls lacrosse players Grace Fujinaga, Annabelle Gersch and Hannah Tiscornia hold the state championship trophy following their 10-9 victory against Bainbridge Island in the Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association championship game on May 17. Photo courtesy of Kathy Gersch
Seattle Mariners legend Edgar Martinez, left, and Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone, right, collaborated on a book titled, “Edgar: An Autobiography.” Martinez and Stone attended a book signing on June 12 at Barnes Noble in Bellevue. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Legendary Mariner meets a plethora of fans

Edgar Martinez visits Bellevue Barnes & Noble to promote his book.

Mercer Island resident Michael Magnussen has competed in all six of the marathon majors in the world since 2016. Magnussen clocked a time of 2:56.21 at the London Marathon in May. This past February, Magnussen finished with a time of 2:55.40 in the Tokyo Marathon. Photo courtesy of Theresa Magnussen
Running is a way of life for Magnussen

Hard work and determination pays dividends for avid Mercer Island runner.

Mercer Island Islanders sophomore Tegan Yuasa is currently the top-ranked male 55-kilogram athlete in the sport of Judo. Yuasa will compete at the Cadet World Championships, which will take place from Sept. 25-29 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Photo courtesy of Mark Yuasa
Yuasa earns first place in the USA Judo Elite Senior National Championships

Mercer Island High School sophomore Tegan Yuasa captured first place in the… Continue reading

The Mercer Island FC Maroon girls soccer team earned a 2-1 victory against the PacNW Blue in the President’s Cup D2 championship contest May 12. Photo courtesy of Tom Hill
Maroon girls soccer team completes journey with a championship

Teamwork propels Maroon soccer team to third title in five seasons.

Mercer Island senior Matthew Capone, left, dribbles the ball up field while being guarded by Juanita sophomore Andrew Taylor in a game on April 11. Capone earned first-team all-3A KingCo honors as a midfielder during the 2019 season. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders athletes capture all-league honors

Bevy of Mercer Island soccer/baseball players garner recognition.

The Mercer Island Islanders tennis doubles team consisting of Kevin Chen/Chris Elliott earned first place at the 3A state tennis tournament on May 25 in Kennewick. Photo courtesy of MC Chen
Doubles duo attains a coveted goal on the tennis court

The doubles team of Kevin Chen/Chris Elliott goes undefeated at the 3A state tournament.