Matias Saari, Race Director
Matias Saari is among Alaska’s most experienced race directors and accomplished mountain runners. He currently directs the Tour of Anchorage ski and bike races, the Crow Pass Crossing, the Kesugi Ridge Traverse and the Frosty Bottom Marathon. He also founded the Northern Trails Series in Fairbanks in 2008.
As the event support coordinator for Healthy Futures in Anchorage, Saari annually helps organize and support dozens of youth athletic events throughout Alaska. Saari is a former sportswriter at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and author of The Equinox: Alaska’s Trailblazing Marathon. He is also a board member for the Alaska Mountain Runners.
Saari won the 2009 Mount Marathon Race and finished in the Top 4 seven straight times between 2008-14. You can contact Saari at [email protected].
Harold Faust of Seward first ran Mount Marathon in 1996 at the age of 42, taking 151st place in the men’s race. 2019 marked his 20th Mount Marathon finish. He is the workhorse of the committee. Arriving early to set up and staying late to clean up.
Karol Fink moved to Seward in 1995 and decided it was the best place on earth. She first raced in 1997 and joined the race committee in 2003. She has completed more than 20 women’s Mount Marathon races. Her time is spend helping with race operations, registration, web updates, awards and maintaining historical records.
Flip Foldager first ran the Mount Marathon in 1979 at the age of 21. His top finishes were 3rd places in 1983 and 1988 and he’s been in the Top 10 thirteen times with a best of 49:16. Between 1979-2018, he finished Mount Marathon every year except 1999 race. Foldager’s is the race’s media darling and ensures all junior racers have a helping hand, if needed, off the cliffs. He and wife Patti moved from Seward to Hope after they retired. He also serves on the MMR Mountain Safety Committee.
Amy Haddow first ran the Mount Marathon in 2005 at the age of 44, taking 167th place in the women’s race. She then ran every year until 2012, with a best of 105th place in 2011. Amy is a big-thinker and problem solver. She takes on tasks and gets them done.
Geri Nipp serves as the Mount Marathon Committee’s liaison with the Seward Chamber of Commerce. On the days leading up to the event, Geri is omni-available to take care of last minute issues and is omni-present on race day to take care of issues as they arise. She shows up downtown on race day around 6 am with coffee for the volunteers and stays all day.
Marshall retired in 2021 after 29 years of teaching and 26 years of coaching at Seward High School. He finished every Mount Marathon between 2001-14 with a best time of 53:18 in 2012 and a best result of 32nd place in 2011. He is organized, calm and collected. His wife Jackie and son Jacob volunteer every year and are there early and stay late for clean up. He also serves on the MMR Mountain Safety Committee.
Wright auctioned in to the 2008 Mount Marathon and remains an active racer. Her best result was 57th place in 1:14:40 in 2019. She also serves as the race’s Volunteer Coordinator and can be reached at [email protected] She knows everyone in Seward, solves problems quickly, communicates clearly, and makes sure all volunteers have what they need to help the race be successful.