Monday, June 18, 2007

Mt. Marathon Race

So there's this ridiculous race in Seward, Alaska every 4th of July where runners see how fast they can race to the top of a mountain and back down. The legend is that a bunch of guys were sitting in a bar in Seward and one of them said they could run to the top of the mountain that towers over Seward and back down in under an hour. The bet was on and the next day he ran up and down what is now known as Mt. Marathon (3,022 feet of elevation gain in 1.5 miles) in 62 minutes. He lost the bet. This idea has been turned into an "organized" race, that has been going on every 4th of July for 80 years.

This is not just any mountain. For those of you who don't know what 3000 feet of elevation in 1.5 miles means, here is a translation... @#%@$ steep! You basically have to scale a rocky cliff, then scramble up loose rock, then run down super steep sliding, shifting rock only to have to somehow get back down the rocky cliffs. Racers often cross the finish line filthy and bleeding.

So over a couple of beers one night, Brian's friend Thor suggested that we all sign up. We all said "Yay, Mt Marathon!"... The next day I signed up. Then I found out everyone else backed out. Okay, so I probably won't get into the race anyway. It's a random lottery for first timers and you have less than a 20% chance to get into the Women's race. Two weeks later, in April, I found out I was in.

Needless to say, for the past two months I've been training for this race, running every chance I get and scrambling up any mountain I can find. This weekend, I decided to go check out the mountain.. how bad can it be right? Hmm... the record for the race is 43 minutes up and down. I sat at the bottom of the mountain for about... 43 minutes... and contemplated just how I was going to get up this thing. The start really is a cliff that is half crumbling to the ground. But I made it up.... and down.. in about 2 and half hours. Here are some pictures I downloaded from the internet so you can get an idea...

Mt Marathon Downloaded

I'll be back to let you know how it goes, hopefully with some of my own pics...

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