Mount Marathon News

Racer Email #8: IMPORTANT: FINAL INFO!

We’re thrilled to be back for the 93rd running! Please review this final important information.

BIB PICKUP

Get your bib, t-shirt, patch, race bag and other swag! No wave changes are possible.
Tuesday, July 6 — 5-8 p.m. (Race Headquarters, outdoors at corner of 4thand Washington)
Wednesday, July 7 – Race Day! — 7 a.m.-3 p.m. (Race Headquarters, outdoors at corner of 4th and Washington)

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RACE START SCHEDULE

JUNIORS — 8:30-8:36 a.m. (one minute between waves)
WOMEN — 11:00-11:10 a.m. (two minutes between waves)
MEN — 3:00-3:12 p.m. (two minutes between waves)

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LIVE TIMING & PARTICIPANT TRACKING

Skinny Raven will again have live timing results here:
https://runsignup.com/Race/Results/114671
There is also an option for Participant Tracking:
https://runsignup.com/Race/FindARunner/?raceId=114671 

To see how you did, visit the RESULTS TENT near the finish line (on the spectator side of the chute)

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AWARDS

There will be no formal awards ceremony at AVTEC in 2021 due to long-planned COVID-19 mitigation. However, of course we will still give out awards!

Top 5 Overall Podium Awards — brief ceremony on the GRANDSTAND
Juniors — 9:30 a.m.
Women — 12:30 p.m.
Men — 4:30 p.m.

Top 5 Age-Group and Longevity Awards
Can be picked up at Race Headquarters (corner of 4th and Washington)
Juniors and Women’s —2:30-6 p.m.
Men’s — 4:30-6 p.m.Age groups are:
Juniors: 7-11, 12-14, 14-17
Men and Women: 18-29 and 10-Year increments thereafterNEW THIS YEAR: the Downhill Demon Award for the Fastest Split from Race Point to the finish. Will we see a sub-10 this year?!

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RULES REMINDERS

  • No climbing aids (including hiking poles).
  • No shoes with metal cleats or Microspikes.
  • No identifying markers on the trail to guide runners.

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PARKING
Parking north of Jefferson will help manage race and vehicle traffic.

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SORRY, NO DOGS!

No dogs, leashed or unleashed, are allowed on 4th Avenue between Railway and Jefferson or along the race course, including all race trails on the mountain. This will increase safety for runners and spectators, and reduce problems with sanitation and clean-up.
Your pets are allowed in Seward; please just keep them off the race course or crowded downtown area.

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MUSEUM EXHIBIT

The Seward Library & Museum (239 6th Avenue) currently features a special exhibit that tells the story of Dennis Hitt, whose love of the Mount Marathon race inspired the creation of the juniors race.
The first junior race in 1964 was dedicated to the memory of Hitt, a Seward High School graduate who a year earlier had fallen to his death in a climbing accident on Mount Alice while training for the Mount Marathon Race.
Sponsored by Resurrection Bay Historical Society, the exhibit in the atrium is free and open to the public from 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 1–4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Racer Email #7: New Start and Finish Protocols    

The wave starts and finish protocols will be a bit different this year. Please follow our plan to ensure a smooth race! (Parents of juniors: share this plan with your racer!).

THE START
With waves of 30-50 and quick turnaround times, lining up on time and following volunteers’ and announcers’ instructions will be imperative.

JUNIORS will have just one minute between waves, with Wave 1 starting at 8:30 a.m. through Wave 7 at 8:36 a.m.
Be prepared to stage on 4th Avenue beginning no later than 8:25 a.m.

  • The waves are gender specific: either all boys or all girls.
WOMEN will have two minutes between waves, with Wave 1 starting at 11:00 a.m. through Wave 6 at 11:10 a.m.
Be prepared to stage on 4th Avenue beginning no later than 10:55 a.m.MEN will have two-minute intervals between waves, with Wave 1 starting at 3:00 p.m. through Wave 7 at 3:12 p.m.
Be prepared to stage on 4th Avenue beginning no later than 2:55 p.m.

Info for all divisions
  • Your wave number and start times are on your bib for reference. Each wave is color coded: yellow, pink or blue. If the racers around you have a different colored bib, you’re in the wrong wave!
  • Line up directly facing the volunteer holding a sign with your wave number. Allow for several feet of space around you.
  • A large display clock in front of the start will help you keep track of the official time of day.
  • The announcer will say which wave is “up next”, which wave is “on deck” (2nd in line) and which wave is “in the hole” (3rd in line). Once a wave begins, all other waves will quickly move up one wave to fill their place.
  • You may not start before your designated wave. If you accidentally miss your start, your clock is ticking and you may head directly to the start line and depart immediately.
  • Bibs should be worn on the front of your torso. If you race shirtless, attach the bib on your right thigh. Don’t fold, crumple or alter your bib: it has a timing chip on the back.
THE FINISH
  • Once you finish, feel free to take a minute to catch your breath, grab a drink and orange, and celebrate your achievement. Then continue one block down 4th Avenue and exit the finish chute area.
  • Those needing extra time to recover or get medical treatment will be required to mask up along with the volunteer helping them.

Seward Museum exhibit honors Hitt and Junior Mount Marathon Race

Little did Ryan Davidson know that a visit to the Seward Community Library & Museum this past May would result in an exhibit honoring his uncle who died in a 1963 climbing accident on Mt. Alice.

“Dennis Hitt and the Mt. Marathon Junior Race” is the latest featured display in museum windows in the main floor atrium. The exhibit showcases newspaper clippings and a memorial plaque that Davidson donated to the Resurrection Bay Historical Society following the death this spring of his mother.

Vance Hitt’s wish 58 years ago that his son’s memorial plaque be placed at the accident site never came to fruition. But thanks to his grandson’s efforts, the public can at least see this bronze tribute at the museum.

The 18-year-old Dennis Hitt was captain of the 1963 Seward Mt. Marathon team and his death on July 1 came just days before the big race. When his teammates won the civilian team trophy that year, they accepted it on his behalf.

The first-ever junior race was run in 1964 with local teenager Dale Shea garnering the top prize. For a number of years, the phrase “Dennis Hitt Memorial” was engraved across the front of the junior race trophy. The museum exhibit features a trophy on loan from Shawn Erchinger, who won the event four times in the 1980s.

Don Stockard, a member of the Mt. Alice climbing party, shared his personal memories of the tragic event, which are part of the exhibit. His full account can be found at the RBHS website, along with photos and news clippings of Dennis Hitt and the Mt. Marathon Junior Race.

The Library & Museum at 239 Sixth Ave, Seward, AK 99664  is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Racer Email #6: Come For the Bib, Stay for the Salomon Fun!

The Mount Marathon Race and Salomon are teaming up for a fun night at Skinny Raven Downtown!

First, here’s the BIB PICKUP schedule:

  • FRIDAY JULY 2, 4-7 p.m. Anchorage, Skinny Raven (800 H St.) – Any racer can get bib
    Note: The bib pickup previously scheduled for Seward on July 2 has been canceled.
  • TUESDAY JULY 6, 5-8 p.m. Seward Race Headquarters (outdoors at corner of 4th & Washington)
  • WEDNESDAY JULY 7, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Seward Race Headquarters (outdoors at corner of 4th & Washington)

You’ll get your bib, race t-shirt, race bag, patch and some sponsor swag!

First-time racers must:

Junior racers must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

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SALOMON Shakeout Event July 2!

Salomon, the new presenting sponsor of the Mount Marathon Race, will host a “Mount Marathon Shakeout” in conjunction with bib pickup July 2 at Skinny Raven Downtown.
The schedule is as follows:

  • 6:30-7 p.m. — Shakeout Run of 3.1 (the MMR distance)
  • 7-7:30 p.m. — Pizza and beer social
  • 7:30-7:45 p.m. — 2015 Mount Marathon Salomon TV Episode screening of video featuring Rickey Gates, Kilian Jornet, Emelie Forsberg and others.
  • 7:45-9:00 p.m. — Salomon athlete and Alaska runners panel and Q&A. Attendees will include Dakota Jones (Montana), Christian Gering (New Mexico), Darren Thomas (Nevada), Jeffrey Stern (California) and Alaskans Michael Connelly, Christy Marvin, Rosie Frankowski, Carol Seppilu and others.

More info and registration (not required) here:
https://www.salomon.com/en-us/events/trail-running/mount-marathon-shakeout

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Racer Email #5: COVID Isn’t Over — Mount Marathon Still Has Mitigation

Mitigations for the 2021 MMR Impact Every Racer

The pandemic situation in Alaska has improved substantially in recent months, and our race plan reflects that with loosened restrictions.
Keep in mind that some of our mitigation measures were put in place months ago and attempting to change them so close to race day was not feasible.
However, nearly half of Alaskans remain unvaccinated and we are hosting an event with 850 racers and thousands of spectators, so the Mount Marathon Race Committee feels some mitigation measures remain necessary. The MMRC appreciates your cooperation.

OUR COVID-19 MITIGATION MEASURES

  • Moving the race date to Wednesday, July 7 to reduce crowds (decision made February 2021 for planning purposes)
  • Men’s and Women’s Race — Waves of about 50 runners each at two-minute intervals.
  • Juniors’ Race — Waves of 30-50 runners each at one-minute intervals (shorter duration so that the final wave can get beyond the cliffs before the fastest juniors arrive on the descent)
  • Start line — Masks are NOT required but social distancing is: 2021 will not have the sardine-style starts of years past! Each racer should be able to spread their arms out without touching the nearest person.
  • Finish LineRacers will not be permitted to linger. Catch your breath, grab a drink and orange slice and then keep moving to the end of 4th Avenue and disperse from there.
  • Finish Line Volunteers and Racers Needing Treatment there — masks will be required for these groups.
  • Outdoor Facilities — Our Race Headquarters will be at the gravel lot at the corner of 4th and Washington; it will host bib and t-shirt pickup, volunteer check-in and more.
  • Pre-race Safety Meeting and Auction — A Safety Video that must be viewed by first-time racers replaces the pre-race safety meeting. An online auction in early June replaced the pre-race auction.
  • Awards — The awards ceremony at the AVTEC Center is canceled; we plan to hold brief overall podium awards ceremonies at Race HQ and distribute age-group medals there once results are confirmed.
  • COVID-19 Symptoms — If you feel sick with any COVID-19 symptoms, please do not come to Seward or participate in the race. We will grant such racers a deferral to 2022 to save their spots. A key to not spreading COVID-19 in Seward is not bringing it there in the first place.

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Thank you for your cooperation,
The Mount Marathon Race Committee and
Race Director Matias Saari

Racer Email #4: Rules Changes for 2021 (including requalification)

Two new rules will be implemented in 2021:

TOP 50 PERCENT AGE GROUP RULE
Beginning in 2021, adult racers will need to finish in the Top 50 percent of their age group to earn priority registration in 2022. This replaces the First 225 Finishers Rule and is intended to increase the number of lottery spots and improve lottery odds. Those with 10-Year Status are not impacted.

10-YEAR NEW RACER REPEAL RULE
Beginning in 2021, new racers will not be eligible to earn Priority 10-Year Status. Those who have previously completed an adult race remain eligible. This change will gradually increase lottery selection odds (beginning in 2030).

These rules, and several others, were approved by the Mount Marathon Race Committee in February 2020. They were announced at that time and published on the race website.

There are a few exceptions. Frequently Asked Questions about these rules.