Anchorage’s Lars Arneson finishes third in the men’s Mount Marathon Race on Monday, July 4, 2022, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Anchorage’s Lars Arneson finishes third in the men’s Mount Marathon Race on Monday, July 4, 2022, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Arneson sets new record at Mat Peak

Lars Arneson, a 2009 graduate of Cook Inlet Academy now living in Anchorage, set a new course record in the Matanuska Peak Challenge on Saturday.

Arneson, 32, finished the 14-mile course with about 9,000 feet of vertical climb and descent in 2 hours and 53 minutes to break Eric Strabel’s 2012 record of 2:55:43. Strabel is the three-time winner of the men’s Mount Marathon Race in Seward.

Arneson won Mat Peak for the second time, also crossing first in 2017 at 3:07:57. That victory earned Arneson a spot in the Mount Marathon Race, and he’s been on a mountain running tear since. In Mount Marathon, Arneson was seventh in 2018, third in 2019, sixth in 2021 and third this summer with a personal best of 45:22.

In the women’s race, Meg Inokuma, 42, won at 3:26:34. Inokuma, who lived on the central peninsula in the summers of 2014 through 2016, missed Christy Marvin’s 2016 course record by just two seconds in running the second-best time in the history of the race.

The Mat Peak Challenge also was the start of a busy weekend for Julianne Dickerson, 34, who was born and raised in Kenai, and Joe Nyholm, 30, of Seward.

The Crow Pass Crossing, which is about 22 miles with about 3,000 feet of gain and loss, was originally scheduled for July 23, but was postponed due to unsafe river conditions.

The race was rescheduled for Sunday, giving athletes the opportunity to do the “Burly Double” of Mat Peak on Saturday followed by Crow Pass on Sunday.

After finishing eighth in 4:16:14 on Saturday, Dickerson was third in 4:08:59 on Sunday. Nyholm was 17th in Mat Peak at 4:39:13 and 17th in Crow Pass at 4:19:14. Todd Murdoch of Soldotna was 46th in Crow Pass at 6:06:13, while in the women’s race Homer’s Amanda Cherok was 10th in 4:42:20 and Homer’s Elizabeth Roedl was 17th in 5:27:07.

Marvin, 41, won Crow Pass in 3:25:52 to set the new course record. Marvin, who was second overall, won the race for a seventh time and topped Nancy Pease’s 1990 record of 3:26:20. Scott Patterson won the men’s race for the eighth time. His time of 3:04:07 was off the 2:50:05 record he set last year.

Kenai’s Thomason competes in inaugural IRONMAN Alaska triathlon

Kenai’s Eric Thomason finished 222nd overall, 168th among men and 24th in the 45 to 49 age division in 12:56:47 in the inaugural IRONMAN Alaska triathlon on Sunday in Juneau.

The race was made up of a 1.2-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run. The swim was cut in half due to the 56-degree water temperatures. Alex Whetman of Riverton, Utah, won at 9:11:17, while Liz Cullen from Gibson, British Columbia, was the women’s winner at 10:23:03.

Todd Jackson, 46, of Anchorage finished 15th at 10:07:04. According to the Anchorage Daily News, Jackson grew up in Kenai.

The race had about 1,000 athletes from 46 states and 30 countries, regions and territories, according to IRONMAN.

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