As if it needed the boost of competition, the famed Mount Marathon race, held every year on July 4 in Seward, will be receiving another dose of intensity in 2015.
Spaniard Kilian Jornet, one of the world’s premier mountain runners, broke the news that he is planning to participate in this year’s mens race on his online blog on a post detailing his 2015 schedule.
Hailing from Sabadell, Spain, Jornet wrote on his blog that he will not be taking part in a specific running circuit this year, opting instead to pick and choose a number of races held in the United States and Europe. Following a seven-week trek through the Himilayas that includes an attempt at the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest, Jornet will set his sights on the 3,022-foot peak of Mount Marathon in Seward, which has become one of the state’s most popular attractions every Independence Day.
“This is one of the oldest races in the world, as it has been held since 1905,” Jornet wrote. “Besides the fact, it is a rather technical race with many high-level athletes.”
Those athletes include three-time men’s winner and course record-holder Eric Strabel of Anchorage, 2012 winner Matt Novakovich of Anchorage, and 2013 runner-up Ricky Gates of San Francisco, who also went under the previous record in 2013 along with Strabel.
The 2014 National Geographic People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year, Jornet has captured victories in many of the world’s oldest, most prestigious and most grueling running races, and has set a few course records along the way. Jornet also set the record for hiking up and skiing down 20,237-foot Mt. McKinley last summer in less than 12 hours.