Just a few minutes into the latest video from pro runner Allie Ostrander, entitled “How I Won Mount Marathon — Ten Years In The Making,” it’s clear that the Mount Marathon Race is much more than a race for her.
This Alaskan 5-kilometer race held every Fourth of July partially raised her. It was a family tradition that Ostrander joined when she was 1o years old. She spent another 10 years returning to this insanely steep mountain trail, winning both the junior women’s title as a teenager, and later the adult women’s title at 20 years old.
It’s hard to imagine that many runners could claim the close, lifelong relationship with a single event that Ostrander clearly has with the Mount Marathon Race.
“This race is really the root of what made me a runner,” she says in the vid. “It also changed who I was in general.”
For those not in the know, the Mount Marathon Race is not actually a marathon. The name stems from the mountain itself, and 5k is obviously far short of marathon distance.
But as Ostrander makes clear, the race’s grade of incline is 50 percent and involves 3,000 feet of elevation gain. So while it’s “only” a 5k, Ostrander says that completing this challenge definitely feels like a marathon.
Ostrander’s joyful voiceover reflects her obvious love for the event — and ultimately makes this 20-minute video a pleasure to watch.
“[The Mount Marathon Race] was fully my Super Bowl,” she says. “It was the one day a year where I really got to let the competitive juices flow, race against the boys, and it always caused me to rise to my best.”
Still want more Ostrander? We don’t blame you. Check out iRunFar’s Post-2015 Mount Marathon Race interview with Ostrander.