Soldotna’s Youngren part of historic Equinox Marathon

Soldotna’s Megan Youngren finished second Saturday in the most stacked women’s field in the 58-year history of the Equinox Marathon in Fairbanks.

On a day when four women broke the previous course record, Anchorage’s Anna Dalton won the race in her debut at 3 hours, 7 minutes and 22 seconds, besting the previous course record of 3:15:06 by Palmer’s Christy Marvin in 2018. The Equinox has over 3,500 feet of vertical gain and loss, and is run mostly on trails. According to the Alaska Sports Blog, only three women had run under 3:20 coming into this race.

Youngren also sailed under the course record, finishing at 3:11:57. Also breaking Marvin’s record were Susanna Rivard of Portland, Oregon, in 3:13:37 and Palmer’s Meg Inokuma in 3:14:35. Inokuma is a former central Kenai Peninsula resident.

Lars Arneson won the men’s marathon in his debut, clocking 2:52:23 to top the 3:01:37 of runner-up Tobias Albrigtson of Boulder, Colorado. Arneson, now living in Anchorage, grew up on the central peninsula before running and cross-country skiing at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Anticipation was high for the women’s marathon heading into the event because Dalton, Youngren and Rivard had all competed in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trails. In a text message to Matias Saari of Alaska Sports Blog before the race, Youngren correctly predicted the course record would fall.

Women took five of the top 11 spots in the marathon, with Dalton fourth, Youngren sixth, Rivard seventh, Inokuma eighth and Anchorage’s Klaire Rhodes 11th.

The peninsula also was well represented in the men’s half marathon, with Seward’s Collin Atkinson taking third in 1:31:07. Anchorage’s Chad Trammell won at 1:22:05, while Zachary Thomas of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, was second in 1:26:57.

Emily Fedders of Fairbanks won the women’s half marathon in 1:36:21. This is the first time a half marathon was run at the Equinox Marathon.

All times are according to the Facebook page of the Equinox Marathon.

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