ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - With difficult qualifying criteria, the Boston Marathon attracts talented runners from around the globe. On Monday, 50 Alaskans will compete in the historic race.
Rick Lader of Fairbanks won the 2017 Seattle Marathon, Fairbanks' Keri Mcentee is a two-time Mayor's Marathon champion, and Anchorage’s Laura Fox finished in just over three hours at last year’s Boston Marathon. All three will be running it this year.
“I think it says a lot about the Alaskan runners that have to train through through the winter in order to represent here,” said Jerry Ross over the phone Sunday. Monday will be Ross’s ninth Boston marathon.
He is also the co-coach for the Alaska Endurance Project, a training group based in Anchorage. For Ross, the competition has turned into a tradition since the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
“I was watching on TV because people from my training group that were running that year," he said. "It really made me angry, and got me fired up."
Ross added that it was nice to return in 2014, and the atmosphere was amazing.
For a handful of athlete's, this year's race is their first crack at Boston. Rookie Carl Wahlin and Lyon Kopsack tagged along with Ross for the race. Wahlin and Kopsack are former University of Alaska Fairbanks cross-country runners who qualified last March.
“There’s not much else to do in Fairbanks, so it was a good way to pass the time,” Kopsack said.
The 2014 Colony High School graduate comes from a family of mountain runners, he said, and considers Boston Marathon a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Find more details regarding the 2019 race by clicking here.