Mount Marathon’s 2014 junior race became not just a pair of simultaneous events among boys and girls, but a last-minute contest to see whether a girl would be the first ever to lead the overall field to the finish line in downtown Seward.
Repeat Mount Marathon girls champion Allison Ostrander, in her last year as a junior competitor, overtook every boy in the field on the way down from Mount Marathon’s halfway point, crossing the finish line with an official time of 28 minutes and 54 seconds. Michael Marshall was the first boy across the finish line, coming in just after Ostrander with a time of 29:36.
While Ostrander’s time didn’t beat 2013 boys winner Lyon Kopsack’s 27:03, it shattered her 31:40 time from last year. Several boys finished shortly after Marshall Friday, including Jager eking out third place at 29:42 just a second ahead of Roan Hall with Derek Steele and Jack Martensen crossing at 30:17 in fifth and sixth place respectively. The next girls didn’t cross until about eight minutes after Ostrander, with Ruby Lindquist taking 35th place at 36:38 and Molly Gellert's 37:10 earning 37th.
The first two runners through the halfway point were Luke Jager and repeat 2012 and 2013 girls champion Alison Ostrander, with Jager maintaining a 43-second lead over Ostrander at that point. Race officials at cliffs on the downhill said that Ostrander had made up most of that time, although it wasn’t clear until the race’s final moments that Ostrander had taken the lead.
In the women’s race later Friday, Holly Brooks reclaimed her crown from 2013 winner Christy Marvin, who put up a close fight and almost overtook Brooks but came in two second behind her with a time of 52:51 to Brooks’ 52:49.
The 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.