Records were destroyed this Fourth of July in Seward, Alaska at the 88th edition of the annual Mount Marathon. In impressive fashion three runners bested previous course records, with international running stars Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg claiming the men’s and women’s titles, respectively.
Jornet notched a time of 41:48 on the 5-kilometer course, that climbs and descends roughly 3,000 feet, to take the men’s victory. The Spaniard beat Eric Strabel’s 2013 course record by 67 seconds. Forsberg took first in the women’s race with a time of 47:48, breaking Nancy Pease’s 25-year-old record by 2:42. Forsberg wasn’t the only woman to surpass Pease’s record, with 18-year-old high school running sensation Allie Ostrander crossing the line in 50:28 to take second place in her senior class debut. Prior to 2015, Ostrander competed in the junior category of the race and is the only junior woman to claim the overall junior title.
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What a race!! The history, the fantastic ambiance, the steep uphill and technical downhill makes this race really special. #mountmarathon race is one of THE races. Start strong following @rickeygates and Jim Shine on the uphill I push to take the lead on the downhill. Congrats to @tinaemelie for the victory and record and to the young and tallented @allie_ostrander for the 2nd place!!! incredible and great to see the same amount of men, women and junior on this technical race. And see 7 years old runners sclambing down the cliffs is something unique in Alaska!
It came as no surprise that Jornet crossed the line in first. Considered the best mountain runner in the world, he has six-time Skyrunner World Series championships to his name along with countless course records across the globe. After his record-breaking performance in Alaska, Jornet remarked to Alaska Dispatch News that the run reminded him of some European races due to the thousands of fans that lined the finish.
“That’s crazy,’’ Jornet said to the news organization. “Some races in Europe are like that. Here in the U.S., it’s unique.”
Rounding out the podium were Rickey Gates (42:56) and Jim Shine (43:11).
On the women’s side, Forsberg said she was surprised by the win given the strong competition. The Swede is a three-time Skyrunner World Series champion.
“I’m super surprised and so, so happy,” Forsberg said to Alaska Dispatch News. “I had a really good day.”
In second, Ostrander said to Alaska Dispatch News that while she was please with her senior debut she still hoped to claim the record time in the future. “I kinda wish the record was mine but I have a lot more years in me,” Ostrander said. “Some people are racing at 70 so I’ve got, oh, 50 more shots at it.”
The final woman on the podium was Chrissy Marvin (52:28).
Missing from the women’s race was two-time Mount Marathon champion Holly Brooks, who decided to sit out the race in order to rest after the long 2014/2015 FIS Marathon ski season.
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Lander Karath is FasterSkier's Associate Editor from Bozeman, Montana and a Bridger Ski Foundation alumnus. Between his studies at Middlebury College in Vermont, he is an outdoor enthusiast and a political junkie.