34 photos

Thousands of Alaskans travel to Seward, Alaska each year on the 4th of July for the annual Mount Marathon race. There are junior, men’s and women’s races. Runners climb and descend the mountain up to 3,022 feet for a 3 mile round trip. Three miles might not seem lengthy, but it is when it’s straight up and down. The mountain race is one of America’s oldest trail running events and one of Alaska’s largest celebrations. Racers duck tape their socks to their running shoe to keep pebbles out of their foot wear. Runners wear thick gloves to protect their lands. Runners have to deal with scrapes and deep cuts from the loose gravel on the trail. There are always bloody racers reaching the finish line.

Christy Marvin won the women’s race in 51:02. Yngvild Kaspersen was second and Denali Foldager Strabel was third. Eric Strabel was third in the men’s race, yes Denali and Eric are husband and wife. The boy’s leader was Luke Jager at 27:29. Molly Gellert finished in 31.51. The boys and girls run at the same time half way up the mountain and back down.

I used my Nikon D600 with my Nikon 70-200mm f/4 zoom lens. I used a monopod to secure sharp images. It was overcast with soft light so securing correct exposures was fairly easy compared to high contrast lighting. All images were shot at f/4 to keep the depth of field narrow and distracting backgrounds out of focus. Exposures were typically 1/320 to 1/640. I try to remain conspicuous, but it is hard with a zoom lens and monopod. If people have the “I do not want my photo taken look”, I do not photograph them. I will remove any photo upon request at 907-240-1025 or bartz@englishoephotography.com.
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