no city of Anchorage, and railroad construction was just beginning, but there was a Mount Marathon race. The runners in this mountain marathon start from the town center near sea level, climb to Race Point (elevation 3,022 feet on the southeast ridge of Marathon Mountain), and return. The record is 43 minutes, 11 seconds, set in 1981 by Bill Spencer. Independence Day is the most exciting time to make the climb, whether you are in the race or not, but it is a good hike anytime during the summer.
A hikers’ trail and the runners’ trail climb toward Race Point, although the hikers’ trail has easier destinations as well. The hikers’ trail is steep, the runners’ trail steeper. Fortunately, both provide spectacular views of Resurrection Bay, giving a ready excuse to pause. You may choose to go up the hikers’ trail and down the runners’ trail; the two lower ends are within easy walking distance.
© Helen D. Nienhueser & John Wolfe Jr./The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.