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


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Womens race to take spotlight

 


Beginning next year the Womens Mount Marathon Race will start after the men’s race, the Mount Marathon Race Committee announced this week. Thereafter the men’s and women’s races will alternate each year.

Over the last 30 years, women’s sports competition has grown in value, recognition and participation across the U.S., according to the Seward Chamber of Commerce. Alaska’s Mount Marathon Race is an example of the change. In 2009, 65 girls competed in the junior event, and in 1985, 54 women finished the race. Today, both the girl’s and women’s events are filled to capacity with more wanting to participate. The Mount Marathon Race committee believes that the women’s competition is of equal value to the men’s. Alternating the start times each year allows women competitors to share in the main event status.

In even-numbered years, the women’s race will be the last event of the day and in odd-numbered years, men will take the last race of the day.

Also in 2016, race start times will change. The Junior Race will begin at 9 a.m., the second race at 11 a.m. and the last race at 2:30 p.m.

“I applaud the race committee’s decision to alternate the race times. This change makes a significant statement that men’s and women’s competition are equally valued,”said Lisa Keller, a former Mount Marathon racer and coach.

“It is a great decision by the committee. The change helps bring gender equity to one of Alaska’s biggest sporting events,” said Harlow Robinson, Alaska Sports Hall of Fame executive director.

The time changes were made in an effort to end the races a little bit sooner so runners and volunteers can make it to the awards ceremony at 6 p.m. and to begin street cleanup a bit earlier.

In addition to the time changes, the committee and City of Seward have established a “no pets” policy for July 4th. No dogs, leashed or unleashed, will be allowed in the downtown area or along the race course, including all race trails on the mountain. This will provide increased safety for runners and spectators, and reduce problems with sanitation and cleanup.

Race registration begins Jan. 1 at http://www.mmr.seward.com.

 

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