The home stretch of the 2014 women’s Mount Marathon Race came down to a duel between previous winners of the race, with the two competing right up until the finish line.
Olympic skier Holly Brooks, the race’s 2012 winner, edged out last year’s winner Christy Marvin with an official time of 52 minutes and 49 seconds, reclaiming her crown. Marvin put on a last-minute burst of energy, closing the distance to finish just two seconds later at 52:51, but it wasn't enough to overtake Brooks' winded yet steady pace. The win was only slightly off Brooks' 2012 time of 51:53.
Brooks and Marvin weren't that far ahead of the pack, with Najeeby Quinn taking third a few minutes later at 56:17. In about 90 seconds, Ann Spencer's 57:14 finish and Allison Barnwell's 57:50 rounded out the top five.
Brooks was reported first to the race’s halfway point near the top of the mountain, followed about two minutes later by Quinn. Marvin had reportedly closed much of the distance with Brooks, with race officials saying she was in second place on the downhill.
While both Brooks and Marvin were in Friday’s field, Brooks’ fellow Olympic skier -- 2011 Mount Marathon champion Kikkan Randall -- said earlier this week that she was prioritizing her skiing career with a decision not to run in Friday's race.
The women’s field took off from Seward in two major waves, separated by five minutes. While the first wave generally features faster runners, an auction in Seward lets runners buy a place in the first wave; the highest bid for a women’s bib was $875, with a men’s bib selling for $2,300.
In the junior race earlier Friday, Allison Ostrander made her final outing one to remember by overtaking every boy in the field and becoming the first girl ever to log the event’s fastest overall time -- 28:54. Michael Marshall, the first boy across the finish line, crossed with a final time of 29:36.
The subsequent men's race saw 2013 champion Eric Strabel handily defend his crown, emerging near the summit from a pack of ascending contenders including 2013 runner-up Ricky Gates and 2012 winner Matt Novakovich. While his pace didn't match his record-breaking 2013 win, Strabel still cruised to the finish line with a time of 44:46.