This year I spent the 4th of July with the Dougherty's in Seward watching the famous Mt. Marathon race! I've been to Seward but never during the 4th. It was quite an experience. I had a blast! It reminds me of a mini Alaska fair with vendors, blended food smells of deep fried everything, tons of people and lots of fireworks.
Emily, one of my youth girls, was going down to compete in the women's race for the 1st time. She's done the junior race (1/2 mountain) 3x prior but never the full thing. She said she was just doing it for fun with no real goal but guessed she'd finish around 1 hr. 45 min. Well, she pretty much obliterated her goal finishing in 1 hr. and 12 min.!! I was floored for her! She ended up finishing 36th overall out of 300+ women competetors! She was AMAZING!!! AND to top it all off she finished with NO cuts just a tiny little scratch on one leg. I am proud of her just for competing period. Way to go Em!
As a first time spectator of the oldest running race in U.S. history (it was the 80th anniversary) it was an eye opening experience. The women, even the top women, come up the road heading toward the mountain setting a good pace. The men on the other hand are complete animals! The top 2-3 guys lead with 150 or so close behind in an all out SPRINT!! Literally they head up the road to the chute in a full on sprint. The disgusting thing is that they pretty much keep it up the entire race. You can see a swarm of men moving rapidly up the mountain face. There are medics strategically placed for injuries. One of my friend's brothers, Darren Markwardt, came down in the first big wave of guys with a big bloody gash on his cheek and a bloody scratch across his chest. Die hards I tell you!
The beginning, by the way is one of a couple routes, climbing up tree roots and dirt or a rock wall face...your pick. Nice aye? I went out the night before with Emily to help her decide which route she wanted to take for the actual race. Ha! After 5 min. of climbing tree roots I told her I'd meet her later at the bottom b/c I wanted to be sure to get down on one piece. I added some pics below to document the event.