As some of you know this past winter I traveled the world competing in ski marathons. Over the course of 5 months I competed in 11 ski marathons sprinkled throughout 10 countries. My final race took me all the way to Siberia and the season went three weeks longer than usual. Needless to say, I was tired - I am tired and consequently there will be no Mount Marathon 2015 in my future.
Believe me, I am disappointed. It's bound to be a flag-ship, exciting year with Internationally ranked "celebrity" competition (Emelie Forsberg & Killian Jornet) plus the move of Allie Ostrander to the senior race. Course records seem to be falling right and left this year and I wouldn't be surprised to see some blazing times in Seward with the depth of competition in both the men's and women's races.
Over the years I've harnessed a very personal, palpable relationship with Mount Marathon. I credit the race and my 2009 trip to the ER with my move towards becoming a professional athlete. For the past seven summers it's been the poignant date in the summer months. Somehow there is "pre-Mount Marathon" and "post-Mount Marathon" each year. In the past few years the race has resulted in the disappearance of Michael LeMaitre, traumatic brain injuries, cuts, scraps and bruises. And - for some reason, people still fight for the opportunity to hurl themselves 3022 feet up & down the mountain. For these reasons, I suppose it makes sense Mount Marathon holds the nick-name, "the Olympics of Alaska."
2009 where it took nearly an hour to start in IV...
2013 - No race (pre-Sochi Olympics)
I don't feel like I need to make excuses for my absence but I realize that it's easier to offer a full explanation behind my decision. I know the effort that is required for me to be safe and competitive in this race..... One needs to be seething with motivation, and your/my killer instinct needs to be sharp and ready to go. I've been in that zone in the past and I just don't have the energy (physical, emotional, mental) for it this year.
Post race ice cream bars, 2011
So, good luck to everyone that plans and hopes to race this year!!! I'll miss it dearly but I know it's the right call for me. In the meantime, if you have the Mount Marathon fever or are alternatively curious to learn more about the race and/or get an inside peak into the minds of race competitors don't miss the premiere of 3022ft Everyone's got mountains to climb - a full length documentary made about last year's race at the Beartooth! There will be two showings June 24th complete with schwag and an athlete panel.