Matias Saari, Race Director
Matias Saari is among Alaska’s most experienced race directors and accomplished mountain runners. He currently directs the Tour of Anchorage ski and bike races (in conjunction with the Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage), the Crow Pass Crossing (through his employer Healthy Futures) and the Kesugi Ridge Traverse and Frosty Bottom Marathon (independent projects). He also founded the Northern Trails Series in Fairbanks in 2008.
As the event support coordinator for Healthy Futures in Anchorage, Saari annually helps organize and support dozens of youth athletic events throughout Alaska. Saari is a former sportswriter at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and author of The Equinox: Alaska’s Trailblazing Marathon. He is also a board member for the Alaska Mountain Runners.
Saari won the 2009 Mount Marathon Race and finished in the Top 4 seven straight times between 2008-14. He also has won the Matanuska Peak Challenge, Government Peak Climb and Equinox Marathon multiple times. You can contact Saari at [email protected]
Harold Faust of Seward first ran Mount Marathon in 1996 at the age of 42, taking 151st place in the men’s race. His top finish was in 1999 in 125th place and most recently he place 246th place at the age of 65 in 2019. This marked his 20th MMR finish.
Karol Fink moved to Seward in 1995 and decided it was the best place on earth. She first raced in 1997 and joined the race committee in 2003. She has completed more than 20 women’s MMR races.
Flip Foldager first ran the Mount Marathon in 1979 at the age of 21. His top finishes were 3rd places in 1983 and 1988 and he’s been in the Top 10 thirteen times with a best of 49:16. Between 1979-2018, he finished MMR every year except 1999 race. Foldager’s most recent finish was 01:11:10 in 2018, taking 131st place at the age of 61. He and wife Patti recently moved from Seward to Hope.
Amy Haddow first ran the Mount Marathon in 2005 at the age of 44, taking 167th place in the women’s race. She then ran every year until 2012, with a best of 1:21:24 and 105th place in 2011.
Danny Crow ran the Mount Marathon Race just once in 1995 taking 136th place in the men’s race.
James Mitchell attempted the Mount Marathon for the first time in 2019, at the age of 30, upon finally gaining entry through the weighted lottery process after four years. Mitchell did not finish, but expects to step up to the Mount Marathon challenge again in 2020.
Geri Nipp serves as the MMR Committee’s liason with the Seward Chamber of Commerce, and is not a mountain racer.