SEWARD, Alaska (KTUU) - As far as family traditions go, there might not be one more trying than running - as a group - Mount Marathon, the storied race that takes place in Seward, Alaska, most years.
This year, though, after decades of competing in the rough and tumble run up and down one of Alaska’s most famed peaks, the Foldagers have become part of the race’s story. And they're still writing it.
“I feel like my twenty years on this mountain - I'm fine. I'm good,” said Rubye Foldager.
Rubye, her twin sister, Denali, and her parents Flip and Patti, have been running Mt. Marathon for a combined century. Mother Patti has taken first place multiple times.
“36 years, maybe?" Patti said. "My first race was 1980.”
Family patriarch Flip is on the board for the race, and has run it more than a few times as well.
“Yeah, it looks awesome, but when you're standing there, it's like 'Wow!'” he said.
Flip warns that there’s more danger than just the run. He said rocks seem to grow legs and threaten to bounce down on competitors heads, giving concussions as party favors.
This year, as temperatures soar to record highs the day before the race, there’s another Foldager family member who is warming up: Son Trent is gearing up to run the full race in the men's division for the first time.
"It’s a big deal to have the whole family in bibs this year,” Flip said. "The whole family is running this year! Both my wife and I, Patti, and all three of our kids - Trent, Rubye and Denali. First time all five are running."
Following multiple champion footsteps, is Trent feeling the heat? According to him, not really.
“I haven't done the men's race yet. So it should be fun I guess. I mean, it's just a mountain,” he said.
That fun is part of the tradition too.
“It's kinda cool," Patti said. "We always thought we would all run in the race. It's a big part of our family.
"We just like being out," she said. "Not just at Mt. Marathon, but all the mountains."
But what would a race be without a little friendly competition?
“Rumor has it the last Foldager across the line buys the first round of beers," Rubye laughed. "It's not going to be me though, just so everyone knows!”
Trent, who will be competing for the first time in the men's division, also just had a child and said he hopes to pass along the truly Alaskan family tradition on to the next generation as well.
Foldager finished Mount Marathon in second place in the women's division with a finishing time of 52 minutes flat.
Channel 2's Melinda Bolton contributed to this report.