Mt. Marathon — oh shit

View of Seward from the top

I took this photo from Julie at Alaskab4udie. I think it captures the vertical-ness quite well.

I found out this weekend that I got in to Mt. Marathon. The odds were not in my favor — I believe there were around 25 open spots out of 350. But I entered my name in the lottery, and now I’m in. I can’t give up my spot for 10 years – 10 years! – but once I’ve raced 10 consecutive years I’m allowed some time off and can still enter the race when I want.

There she is.

So now I have to get serious about training. My expectations for the race aren’t high, but I’d like to run down 4th avenue looking somewhat strong. I also don’t want to get injured. Even though Mt. Marathon literally rises out of my backyard (I’m looking at one wall of it right now) I’ve still never been to the top, and I’ve never been up the racer’s trail.

The race, held on July 4th every year since 1908, gains some 3000 feet of elevation in a mile and a half. After they reach the summit, racers plunge back down into town, where spectators line the streets. Last year the governor was here — it’s that big.

I found these photos on Flickr, since I haven’t taken any of the mountain. Right now it’s covered in snow and I likely won’t get up there for another month. Here’s another one:

The race trail is actually a faint scratch that branches off the left of the main one. Yowza! I better be bikini-bottom ready after that one.

Thanks to dphershman for the photos.

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