Race day decisions loom before 2019 Mount Marathon

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The storyline for the 2019 Mount Marathon has been the looming smoke from the Swan Lake Fire in Seaward. Race officials, there is no plan to cancel the men’s and women’s race and said they will make a decision on the junior’s race no later than 8:45 a.m.

Most racers say they’ll decide whether to run on race day depending on how bad the smoke is, and others taking the year off due to health conditions like asthma.

"The race is challenging enough as is, then it's going to be hot, then there's going to be smoke,” said two-time defending champion David Norris. “I think I'm going to have to be down there morning of the race see what it looks like."

If the defending champion does race, he’ll be the man to beat in the men’s race. Norris' competition will include professional runner Max King who lost last year by 20 seconds, and Mount Marathon rookie Hayden Hawks, who’s also a professional runner.

In the women’s field Jessica Yeaton is on the start list, but won't be racing this year. That will set up a battle of some other familiar faces who will fight out for the 2019 victory, including last year’s runner up Denali Strabel, and 2016 champion Christy Marvin. Bird Ridge champion Rosie Frankowski said she’ll make a decision before the race due to her asthma, and perennial contender Najeeby Quinn will not race.

In the junior’s race both 2018 champions, Chugiak’s Michael Connelly and Fairbanks’ Kendall Kramer will have an opportunity to defend their titles.

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