Mount Marathon News

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.

2021 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.


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:


2021 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.


  • 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.


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

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

Two new rules will be implemented in 2021:

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.

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.

2021 Racer Email #2: Mount Marathon Still Needs Volunteers!

Greeting, MMR racers! The Mount Marathon Race is a massive logistical undertaking that requires more than 300 volunteers.

Many have signed up, but we still have about 70 spots to fill, mostly on race day. The date change to Wednesday, July 7 has no doubt made the recruitment of volunteers more difficult.

There are opportunities to volunteer for the juniors, women’s or men’s events — and even if you personally are unavailable perhaps a friend or family member could help us out!

Volunteers get a Mount Marathon volunteer shirt and our eternal gratitude.
Here is the link to our Signup Genius volunteer listing:

Our Volunteer coordinator is Stephanie Wright; she can answer questions at

We also have a handful of unlisted mountain positions that require strong fitness and significant First Aid knowledge. Anyone interested in those positions should contact:
Joe Fong, MMR Mountain Safety Director:

Thank you for your help!
Stephanie Wright
Mount Marathon Volunteer Coordinator

2021 Racer Email #3: Safety Tour June 27 & Safety Video!

Safety Tour Sunday, June 27! 

WHAT: A safety tour led by veteran Mount Marathon runners
WHEN: Sunday, June 27 from 12-1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Meet at the picnic table near the gate on upper Lowell Canyon Road beginning at 11:30 a.m.
WHY: The tour will focus on helping participants travel safely up and down the bottom third of Mount Marathon. The cliff and roots routes, along with the creek (also known as The Gut) and a portion of scree running will be covered. Participants will be divided into small groups. NOTE: this tour does NOT fulfill the first-timer requirement of completing the entire course before race day.
WHO: Anyone is welcome, but first-timers at the 2021 race or future newcomers would benefit most.
HOW MUCH: Free! No pre-registration required. Participants must sign waiver.
INFO: Contact Clint McCool at 317-4316 or


Safety Video replaces Safety Meeting in 2021

For the 2021 race, there will be no mandatory in-person safety meeting the night before race day because indoor spaces are not being used on July 6-7 in Seward as a COVID-19 mitigation measure.
Instead, an 8-minute safety video by Max Romey Productions is posted at the bottom of this page.

  • Watching the video is mandatory for ALL first-time racers (and recommended for others). 
  • Before first-time racers will be allowed to pick up their bib, racers (or their parent or guardian if under 18) must sign a statement at bib pickup that they have watched the entire video.



Complete the full course requirement

  • First-time racers (or their parent or guardian if under 18) must also sign a statement that they have completed the entire race course prior to race day before they will be allowed to pick up their bib.
  • Any first-time racer who fails to watch the video or complete the entire course before race day will not be allowed to participate and will need to re-apply through the lottery process to attempt to regain entry.

The better prepared you are, whether you’re a veteran or a rookie, the safer the race will be!

More safety info on the website here:

See you on the mountain,
The Mount Marathon Race Committee and
Race Director Matias Saari