Mount Marathon News

Racer Email #4: Rules Changes for 2021 (including requalification)

Two new rules will be implemented in 2021:

Beginning in 2021, adult racers will need to finish in the Top 50 percent of their age group to earn priority registration in 2022. This replaces the First 225 Finishers Rule and is intended to increase the number of lottery spots and improve lottery odds. Those with 10-Year Status are not impacted.

Beginning in 2021, new racers will not be eligible to earn Priority 10-Year Status. Those who have previously completed an adult race remain eligible. This change will gradually increase lottery selection odds (beginning in 2030).

These rules, and several others, were approved by the Mount Marathon Race Committee in February 2020. They were announced at that time and published on the race website.

There are a few exceptions. Frequently Asked Questions about these rules.

Racer Email #2: Mount Marathon Still Needs Volunteers!

Greeting, MMR racers! The Mount Marathon Race is a massive logistical undertaking that requires more than 300 volunteers.

Many have signed up, but we still have about 70 spots to fill, mostly on race day. The date change to Wednesday, July 7 has no doubt made the recruitment of volunteers more difficult.

There are opportunities to volunteer for the juniors, women’s or men’s events — and even if you personally are unavailable perhaps a friend or family member could help us out!

Volunteers get a Mount Marathon volunteer shirt and our eternal gratitude.
Here is the link to our Signup Genius volunteer listing:

Our Volunteer coordinator is Stephanie Wright; she can answer questions at

We also have a handful of unlisted mountain positions that require strong fitness and significant First Aid knowledge. Anyone interested in those positions should contact:
Joe Fong, MMR Mountain Safety Director:

Thank you for your help!
Stephanie Wright
Mount Marathon Volunteer Coordinator

Racer Email #3: Safety Tour June 27 & Safety Video!

Safety Tour Sunday, June 27! 

WHAT: A safety tour led by veteran Mount Marathon runners
WHEN: Sunday, June 27 from 12-1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Meet at the picnic table near the gate on upper Lowell Canyon Road beginning at 11:30 a.m.
WHY: The tour will focus on helping participants travel safely up and down the bottom third of Mount Marathon. The cliff and roots routes, along with the creek (also known as The Gut) and a portion of scree running will be covered. Participants will be divided into small groups. NOTE: this tour does NOT fulfill the first-timer requirement of completing the entire course before race day.
WHO: Anyone is welcome, but first-timers at the 2021 race or future newcomers would benefit most.
HOW MUCH: Free! No pre-registration required. Participants must sign waiver.
INFO: Contact Clint McCool at 317-4316 or


Safety Video replaces Safety Meeting in 2021

For the 2021 race, there will be no mandatory in-person safety meeting the night before race day because indoor spaces are not being used on July 6-7 in Seward as a COVID-19 mitigation measure.
Instead, an 8-minute safety video by Max Romey Productions is posted at the bottom of this page.

  • Watching the video is mandatory for ALL first-time racers (and recommended for others). 
  • Before first-time racers will be allowed to pick up their bib, racers (or their parent or guardian if under 18) must sign a statement at bib pickup that they have watched the entire video.



Complete the full course requirement

  • First-time racers (or their parent or guardian if under 18) must also sign a statement that they have completed the entire race course prior to race day before they will be allowed to pick up their bib.
  • Any first-time racer who fails to watch the video or complete the entire course before race day will not be allowed to participate and will need to re-apply through the lottery process to attempt to regain entry.

The better prepared you are, whether you’re a veteran or a rookie, the safer the race will be!

More safety info on the website here:

See you on the mountain,
The Mount Marathon Race Committee and
Race Director Matias Saari

Racer Email #1: Bib and Wave Assignments

Race Email #1: Bib and Wave Assignments

MMR this year will mostly feature waves of 50 starting minutes apart. This is a change from the previous start format and a COVID-19 mitigation measure decided many months ago.

Bib and wave assignments are posted on our website in multiple formats.
To find our roster page that includes all the links, go to:

You can view your race’s roster:

For a description of the wave assignment process, including the wave change request form, visit:

The race director has assigned bibs to 875 racers; please only request a wave change if you feel you’ve been egregiously mis-seeded. The deadline for submitting the form is June 30.

You’ll be receiving additional messages until race day that contain important information; please watch for them and read in their entirety.

Matias Saari
Mount Marathon Race Director

Salomon Signs on as Presenting Sponsor for Mount Marathon Race

Salomon Signs on as Presenting Sponsor for Mount Marathon Race

Salomon signs three-year contract as the event’s exclusive footwear sponsor

SEWARD, Alaska (April 26, 2021) – Salomon, the leading trail running brand that helped put the Mount Marathon Race on the international map, is the new presenting sponsor of the iconic event in Seward, Alaska. Salomon has signed a three-year contract for 2021-2023 and will also be the event’s exclusive footwear sponsor.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to support Mount Marathon in 2021 and beyond!” said Stephanie Gardner, sports marketing manager for Salomon North America. “Salomon was born in the French Alps and we live to play in big mountains. As a brand, Salomon aligns perfectly with Mount Marathon’s rich, unique history as one of the oldest foot races in America, on one of the most beautiful, rugged courses around.”

A junior racer wearing Salomon shoes at MMR Photo by Joel Krahn

Mount Marathon is among five of the races that Salomon will focus its U.S. trail and mountain race sponsorships on in 2021. “The Mount Marathon Race is honored that Salomon has joined our team and we look forward to a long and prosperous partnership,” race director Matias Saari said. “It’s a perfect fit. Salomon shoes are ubiquitous on the slopes of Mount Marathon and its professional athletes have helped raised the competitive bar for many years.”

 In 2013, Rickey Gates became the first professional runner sponsored by Salomon to race Mount Marathon and placed a close second to Alaskan Eric Strabel, who broke a long-standing record. Gates’ subsequent articles and social media posts helped gain notoriety for Mount Marathon. In 2015, Gates recruited international stars Kilian Jornet of Spain and Emelie Forsberg of Sweden and each shattered the Mount Marathon record (Forsberg’s mark of 47 minutes, 48 seconds still stands). In 2016, SalomonTV produced a 10-minute video about Mount Marathon that featured multiple Salomon athletes. “We’re excited to continue telling the story of this iconic race and get the best athletes in the world out to Seward in July,” Gardner said.

Descending unforgiving rock in Salomon shoes. Photo by Joel Krahn


The Mount Marathon Race will celebrate its 93rd running on Wednesday, July 7. The race measures just 5 kilometers but includes an exceptionally steep climb of 3,000 vertical feet followed by an obstacle-filled descent through scree fields and a rocky creek.

Despite the dangers, the event is so popular that demand for a race bib greatly exceeds the limited supply. Typically held on the 4th of July, the race draws thousands of spectators to the mountain town overlooking Resurrection Bay. However, this year’s race will be held following the holiday as a mitigation measure due to the ongoing pandemic.

Max King of Salomon wins the 2019 race. Photo by Joel Krahn

David Norris of Alaska, the race record holder, and Salomon-sponsored Dakota Jones of Montana are among those on the 2021 roster. The deep women’s field includes multiple champions from Alaska, Olympic skiers and talented Lower 48 challengers.

For more information about Mount Marathon, please visit


About Salomon: Born in the French Alps in 1947, Salomon is committed to pushing the boundaries of mountain sports through the creation of innovative equipment that allows people to play, progress and challenge themselves in their chosen outdoor sports. The company produces and sells premium footwear, winter sports and mountaineering equipment, hiking equipment, and apparel specifically designed for all of those disciplines. Products are developed in the company’s Annecy Design Center, where engineers, designers and athletes collaborate to create innovative solutions that continually improve the outdoor experiences of those who see nature as a vast playground.

Mount Marathon Race moved to July 7

The 93rd Mount Marathon Race has been rescheduled to Wednesday, July 7, 2021.

Citing safety concerns and the challenge of mitigating risk among spectators and participants during a pandemic, the Mount Marathon Race Committee voted to shift the race from the 4th of July holiday weekend to the middle of the subsequent week.

“The crowds will be much smaller on a Wednesday and that is important for holding a race as popular as Mount Marathon during COVID-19,” race director Matias Saari said.

Mount Marathon is traditionally held on the 4th of July and draws about 900 racers and many thousands of spectators. Like most large events in 2020, the race was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic, its first cancellation since 1942.

This year’s date change is not unprecedented: in 1927 the race was moved to Sunday, July 2 at the request of visitors who wanted to watch but couldn’t stay beyond the weekend.

The race committee’s decision means that planning for the 93rd running will continue, but it does not guarantee the race will actually be held. A final decision on the race status will be announced by June 4 after careful consideration of the pandemic’s situation and review of local, state and national health mandates and recommendations.

The race plan will include extensive COVID-19 mitigation.

“Our mission is to make the event as safe as possible for racers, volunteers, officials, sponsors, spectators and the residents of Seward,” Saari said.

On Feb. 5, the race committee made several other impactful decisions:

  • Between March 1-15, those on the 2020 roster must reconfirm their intent to participate in 2021, defer to 2022 or decline their spot.
  • For adults seeking entry in 2021, men’s and women’s lotteries will NOT be held. Few spots were expected to be available and the committee cited the need to simplify the race plan for 2021. Lottery odds are expected to improve due to extra spots in 2022.
  • For youth seeking entry in 2021, a junior race lottery will be held with applications accepted from March 1-15. Forty-four juniors are aging in to the adult races in 2021, making those spots available in a junior lottery.
  • Petitions for a one-year entry in 2021 will be accepted from March 16-31.
  • An online auction is planned for June (dates to be determined) for 10 men’s and 10 women’s spots. No in-person auction the night before the race will be conducted.
  • The updated 2021 roster will be announced in mid-April.
Christy Marvin descends in 2019. Photo by Joel Krahn

The oldest mountain race in the U.S. has been called the “toughest 5K on the planet” by Outside magazine. It goes steeply up 3,000 feet on Mount Marathon and plummets back to downtown Seward, encountering many obstacles and dangers along the way.

The current women’s roster includes past champions Christy Marvin, Hannah LaFleur, and Olympian Jessica Yeaton along with several accomplished mountain runners from the Lower 48 and Canada.

The men’s roster includes 2019 champion Max King from Oregon, race record holder David Norris of Anchorage, 2017 champion and Olympic skier Scott Patterson, professional runner Zach Miller from Pennsylvania, Iditarod dog mushing legend Dallas Seavey and Seward’s Fred Moore, 81, who returns for his 51st consecutive race.

The Mount Marathon Race is owned by the Seward Chamber of Commerce and organized by the Mount Marathon Race Committee.

For more information, visit