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

By Tommy Wells
Seward Phoenix LOG 

Mt. Marathon a family affair for many


Tommy Wells

Allison Barnwell sprints past a large crowd on Fourth Avenue en route to claiming eighth in the women's Mount Marathon race last Tuesday. Allison was among three members of her family to finish in the top 25.

Although Mount Marathon has become the premier mountain racing event in Alaska over its 90-year history, it has also managed to remain a popular event for local runners. No fewer than 60 locals were among the entrants in the annual Independence Day this year.

For some, such as the Foldagers, Barnwells and Nilssons, the race has become as much of a family tradition as Christmas or Thanksgiving. Altogether the three families had 10 runners make their way up and down the grueling mountain.

One of the more successful families on the trail this year was the Barnwells. Allison, Mackenzie and Isabel legged out a trio of top 25 finishes. Overall, the three were part of a solid contingent of local women who managed to claim six of the top 25 spots in the 3-mile race.

Allison Barnwell highlighted their performance by placing eighth overall in the women's standings. She finished the race in a time of 57:22.

"I'm pretty happy with how I did," she said. "I was pretty tired, but I was happy with how the race went."

Mckenzie added to the Barnwell totals moments later. She finished seven spots behind Allison, placing 15th overall at 1:00.55.

Isabel Barnwell tacked on a third top 25 mark when she sprinted across the finish line less than 2 minutes later. She placed 21st overall with a time of 1:03.12.

As far as sheer numbers, few locals can match the efforts of Flip and Pattie Foldager and their two daughters, Denali and Rubye. All four competed in the annual race.

Flip Foldager finished 129th in the men's final standings with a time of 1:06:55. A former women's champion, Pattie finished 152nd in the women's final standings with a time of 1:23:31.

Denali Foldager-Strabel turned in the family's best effort on the trail. She raced her way to fourth in the women's race with a time of 55:05. Rubye checked in at No. 51 with a mark of 1:18:43.

Tommy Wells

Isabel Barnwell stops to grab a drink of water after finishing 21st in the 2017 Mount Marathon Race.

Bjorn Nilsson and Annika Nilsson highlighted a trio of runners from their family. Bjorn captured 20th overall in the Junior boys' race with a mark of 34:14. Annika was 32nd in the girls' 12-14-year-old division of the Junior girls' event at 46:18.

Binget Nilsson was 118th in the women's race with a mark of 1:18:58.

The Lorring family also had three runners competing on the mountain. David M. Lorring was 193rd in the men's race at 1:15:33. Keegan Lorring was 89th, while Emerson Lorring was 54th.

Despite their numbers, the Foldagers, Barnwells, Nilssons and Lorrings were far from having the most family members entered into the event. That honor belonged to the Kopsacks, a Palmer family that had a total of eight runners competing in the Junior and adult races. Another family well-represented were the Marvins of Palmer.

In addition to two-time women's champion Christy (who finished third this year), the Marvins were represented by Christy's husband, Benjamin, and their two children, Coby and Jebediah.


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