I disagree with the rule changes for the Mount Marathon Race and think they remove what makes the race special. The rules were put in place by the new director Matias Saari (an elite runner) without public input that will now forever skew the race toward runners he wants in the race, which is elite runners and out of state runners jumping on to the recent band wagon popularity of the race.

Meanwhile the rules will slowly remove locals and longtime amateur runners who have a unique connection to the race and Seward. The rule changes were justified by an increase in the lottery odds for new runners, but they also increased odds of being booted out of the race, with no incentive to race long term (removal of 10-year veteran rule). There is nothing enticing about a race where you lottery in every spring and then get kicked out of the race after finishing each year.

I think these changes are wrong for the race and diminish the culture of community and Alaskan pride surrounding the race. The race will always have a storied and historic past but will now going forward slowly become just another Alaskan mountain run (albeit the steepest and shortest one). I hope to see these rules reversed in the future.

Jack Delaney