The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Fern Greenbank
LOG Editor 

Why Mount Marathon?

Local racers share answer


Wolfgang Kurtz | The Seward Phoenix LOG

Mount Marathon racers push their bodies to the limit, racing up a vertical mountain, then flying back down to cross the finish line.

Who, what, where, when and why? Those are the questions of life. In Seward, on the Fourth of July, we know who is doing what. We know where and when they are doing it. But we don't really know why people choose to run this dangerous race.

We know there are racers coming from around the state and the country. We're glad they're here to make the event exciting. But Seward is represented by a long list of local runners that make the city proud. We asked some of our local runners the big question and here is what they said.

Pyper Dixon

"The exhilaration from the Mount Marathon Race tops that of every extreme sport I've ever tried. It's absolutely addicting for me."

Solomon D'Amico

"It's fun. It's a great motivator to stay fit. And, the feeling you get coming off the mountain and the crowd erupts. It's surreal."

Sam Young

"The reason changes from year to year. I run the race because it's part of Seward. We have all these mountains to climb, and I've climbed most of them, but I am drawn to the event."

Harold Faust

"I do it to get myself on a training deadline. I get to be in the mountains. It keeps me moving. But really, it's about the tradition."

Ronn Hemstock

"Why? Well that's a funny story. I've been here 20 years and my friend Mark has been here longer. Last fall, we were on the mountain together camping with our friend Dan Marshall. Everybody at the camp had run the race but Mark and me. He said, 'I'll do it if you do it?' I'd never even walked up Mount Marathon and I'm not a runner. But on January 1, he [Mark] sent me a message about having registered for the race. He sort of threw down the gauntlet at my feet and I accepted. It's my first time, just a guy in his 50s. We are going to run the race together and finish together. We aren't trying to set the world on fire."

Wendy Bryden

"I don't know what else I would do on the Fourth of July if I wasn't in the race. This year both of my children will be running so that makes it extra special. This will be my 18th race. One year I didn't run because I gave birth to my son 10 days before the race. It would just be wrong to sit at the bottom of the mountain and watch other people racing. This is a tradition for me now."

Mary Beth Koster

"A couple of reasons why. Tradition. Fun. I get to run with my friends. It motivates me to run. I'm grandfathered in so I get to just have fun."

Binget Nilsson

"A lot of reasons. It's always fun to go up the mountain. That's part of it. It gives me an excuse to run up a mountain. I stay in shape. There's such camaraderie with the runners. And it's exciting."

Tom Gillespie

"One word. Endorphins. It's also a personal challenge, too."

Nancy Osborne

"Because it is to the glory of God. The best part is running down the street. Even if you are the last person you are still a winner. Just like it is with God."

Sarah Glaser

"I love being part of something that, to me, is Seward."

Marion Glaser

LOG File Photo

"For fun. I love running with friends I have run with my entire life. It's a great time. I see people at the race that I don't see all year. I love being competitive, especially with my sisters and Amber St. Amand."

Karl Mechtenberg

"I watched the race for years from the sidelines. I'd never been a runner but I wanted to do something that was a real challenge. Seward is my adopted hometown and I wanted to represent it. This event brings out the best in me. I think of the race every day of the year. I look forward to that one hour when I have no worries. I don't have to think about anything else, just total concentration on the race and doing the best that I can."


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