Local boy, Keith Marrack, who was born and raised in Hilo, has bragging rights to owning a National Championship Volleyball ring when Stanford won it all during his senior year in college.
Before I get to his collegiate prowess there is some great athletic background that you should know about the talented and versatile Keith Marrack.
Marrack comes from some good DNA athletic stock as father, John, and mother, Jan, were notable tennis players and runners.
“Some of my earliest memories are hitting tennis balls with an old school Donnay wood racquet at the Hilo Yacht Club and picnicking on Banyan Drive as my parents ran the Hilo Marathon,” Marrack said.
Marrack’s parents were so into playing tennis that they would set up a play pen in the corner of Lincoln Courts when Keith was an infant in order to continue playing the sport that they loved.
No wonder that Marrack grew up playing AYSO and T-ball when he was younger and played tennis and ran as he was growing up.
“I was ranked in the top 20 in the state for Junior tennis in singles and the top 5 for doubles with my brother when I was 12,” Marrack said.
Inspired by his parents running talents the youthful Marrack also took up running at an early age and entered several 5K (3.1-miles) and 10K (6.2-miles) races on the Big Island.
Marrack moved to Waimea when he was in the third grade and began a transition into team sports as he had a stellar sports career at Hawaii Preparatory Academy.
“In high school I transitioned to team sports playing volleyball, soccer and baseball at HPA,” he said.
In college Marrack made the Varsity Men’s Volleyball team at Stanford as a walk-on. “I only played a couple of years at Stanford as I was never good enough to get any playing time,” Marrack said. “Instead I started helping with the Women’s team my Junior year and ended up with a National Championship Ring when they won it all my Senior year.”
Today Marrack is employed as a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones in Hilo. “Basically I help people with their financial planning: saving for retirement and college, saving on taxes, and creating consistent income,” he said.
A Civil Engineer by training Marrack has also worked as a Footwear Developer at Nike in Oregon and as a High School Math Teacher and Coach in Florida.
“Being a Financial Advisor is the most demanding profession I have ever been in,” he said. “Finding the time to juggle family commitments, community involvement and exercise is a challenge.”
Marrack’s wife, Sally, is also a very accomplished athlete and gifted long distance runner and the couple often needs to compromise training times to supervise their two younger children.
“Since Sally runs in the mornings I tend to run after work and the weekend day she does not run,” he said. “I am looking forward to the kids being a couple years older so we can run together again.”
Marrack will run four to five miles at least two times per week and will get a long run in on the weekend of between 8 to 12 miles. “I am sometimes able to fit in runs when the kids have soccer practice or tennis lessons,” Marrack said.
Marrack added to his running routine his soccer involvement in a Makule league and current play on a local tennis team, which adds variety to his training schedule.
To maintain his high level of fitness Marrack became a vegetarian in 1996. “I became a vegetarian when I began hearing a story on NPR about all the hormones and antibiotics animals are given to grow faster and live in tight quarters,” he said.
“I felt that it was not healthy to be putting animal meat into my body. The key is to make sure that I get enough protein, which I do, through soy, fish, and dairy. Plus eating healthy allows me to enjoy a good dessert,” Marrack said.
Besides work and a busy family life Marrack also stays actively involved in community activities which include the Hawaii Association of Public Accountants (HAPA) where he serves as the Big Island President.
Marrack is also the Vocational Services Director for the South Hilo Rotary Club, Director for the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, Director for Junior Achievement Hawaii Island, Secretary for the Big Island Road Runners, Trustee for the Hilo Yacht Club and a 2010 Pacific Century Fellow.
“I enjoy being involved in the community where I get to meet lots of interesting and diverse people and learn more about what makes Hilo work,” Marrack said.
In running Marrack has set a personal best for a 5K in 18 minutes 30 seconds, 40:22 in a 10K, a 1 hour 32 minute time in the Half-Marathon and in his only full marathon, the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, D.C. finished in 3 hours and 20 minutes.
“I ran my best times when I was coaching the Saint Edward’s School Cross Country teams and running with them every day,” he said.
“I run to stay in shape and to try to keep up with my wife, Sally,” Marrack said. “Sally has run over 30 marathons to my 1, but it is fun to go to the same races, run hard, and then hang out with friends.”