Max King of Bend, Ore., and Hannah Lafleur of Seward are this year’s Mount Marathon Race champions.
In the women’s race Lafleur, 30, overtook frontrunners Christy Marvin, a prior champion, and Julianne Dickerson on the course’s downhill portion, securing a lead of around thirty seconds over Marvin by the time she hit the streets. Lafleur finished with a time of 53:24.
“It all feels pretty surreal for me,” Lafleur said. “For me this race is the highlight of the summer.”
Lafleur relocated to Seward in 2016. She had been trail running for “maybe the last ten years,” she said, “but started seriously when I came to Seward and met the amazing trail running community here.”
King competed in the race last year, coming in second after mountain runner and cross-country skier David Norris. King took the lead off the starting line and secured it with a hard push during the early uphill section known as the cliffs. King said it is the same strategy that put Norris ahead of him in last year’s race.
King finished the race in 43:39.
“Winning this one – it has been really high on my lsit,” King said. “It’s amazing, such a cool feeling.”
The lead up to this year’s race, the 92nd, was troubled by persistent smoke blowing into Resurrection Bay from the Swan Lake Fire in the central Kenai Peninsula. Race officials announced earlier in the week that runners would be allowed to defer until next year, precipitating a changeup in the final race roster.