Racer FAQ

This page answers the following frequently asked questions:

How long do I have to complete the race?
Can I give my race spot to someone else?
What does the winner get?
Is the race ever cancelled?
How is the race timed?
Why is my race place different than those posted on race day or in the newspaper?
What time do I need to arrive?
Should I plan to spend the night in Seward?
What if I get injured during the race?
What else is going on in Seward?
Can I bring my dog to watch the race?

How long do I have to complete the race?

All racers must reach the Cut-Off Time Checkpoint on the mountain before the cut-off time or be disqualified from the race. Adult racers must cross past the Junior Race Point on the mountain within one hour (60 minutes) of their start time and Junior racers must cross by Squirrels’ Inn within 30 minutes of their start time. Official time will be kept for 1.5 hours for juniors and a maximum of 2.5 hours for each adult race.
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Can I give my race spot to someone else

Absolutely not. If you are selected to run through the application and lottery process, the bib number assigned to you belongs to you and only you. If you find that you are unable to participate in the race, you can not designate another individual to run in your place, nor can the Chamber open your spot up for another applicant.  Please refer to the section about bandits.
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What does the winner get?

The winner gets a trophy and bragging rights. As an added benefit, the winner does not need to pay to participate in future Mount Marathon Race® events (for the same category race). There is no cash or merchandise prize associated with the Mount Marathon Race®.
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Is the race ever cancelled?

The race has never been cancelled due to weather. Runners should be prepared for a wide variety of weather conditions. Precipitation is frequent, making the shale slippery, and there can be ice patches on areas of the mountain. The summit can be windy and visibility reduced to next to nothing. It is very important for runners to travel the course several times prior to the race to help maintain their bearings should it be difficult to see the trail.

In the case of unhealthy air quality, extreme heat, or unexpected occurrence the Chamber of Commerce, in consultation with emergency management professionals, would issue an Emergency Alert to racers and the public. Racers choosing not to race due to the information in any such alert would maintain their Priority Racer Status the following year after notifying the Seward Chamber of Commerce in writing that they opted to not race in response to the Emergency Alert.
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How is the race timed?

Mount Marathon Race® results are obtained through electronic chip timing embedded in the race bib. Runners are responsible for ensuring their assigned timing chip is attached securely to their bib and that they cross over all start, top of mountain, and finish mats during the race to receive a valid race time.

Runners must have the correct bib and embedded timing chip when crossing the finish line. Failure to display the bib appropriately and cross the finish line will disqualify the entrant.

Timing chips will be attached to bibs – check it out!

So here are some general tips from our official race timer:

  • Your timing chip is attached to your race bib. Do not fold or crumple your chip. Do not remove the chip from the back of your bib. Here are some tips on the best way to wear your bib to ensure the most accurate time possible.
  • The best place to wear your bib is on the front of your torso, pinned securely on all four corners.
  • If you are not wearing a shirt and can’t hang your bib from your nipple piercings (like bird man):
    • Place it so that the number is still reading as it should (horizontal).
    • Place it on the left leg.
    • Pin all four corners securely.
    • If your bib comes off during the race the best thing you can do is carry it with you and show it as you cross the finish line.

Finish order is determined by chip time. In the instance of a lost chip, finish line officials record finish time and place by hand using the runner’s bib number. The Race Official can also make the call and override the chip if debated. Women racers who finish during the parade will be manually timed at the finish line.

For safety reasons, the timing crew will continue to track the bib numbers of those runners who complete the course after the timing window has closed. All runners who do not complete the race or finish after electronic chip timing has concluded for their division are asked to notify a volunteer at Race Headquarters (125 3rd Avenue) that they are safely off the mountain.

Why is my race place different than those posted on race day or in the newspaper?

Since a few timing chips may malfunction we initially post unofficial results. On the days following the race, finishers are confirmed using the back-up timing system and results are updated which often displaces those racers ranked after them.
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What time do I need to arrive?

Once you have your bib, you just need to be at the starting line a few minutes before your race begins. However, if you don’t live in Seward, keep in mind that July 4th is a very busy time here, with street-based activities scheduled throughout the downtown area. If you do not have lodging downtown, traffic and parking can pose a challenge. 4th Avenue and some cross streets downtown are closed and blocked off beginning at 5 am. Traffic into Seward is also very busy, particularly after 10 am. If you are able to arrive in time for the Junior race start at 9:00 am, you will have the fewest problems.
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Should I plan to spend the night in Seward?

Many runners do plan to spend the night before and the night after in Seward. Traffic into Seward on race day is very thick and frequently backs up on the Seward Highway. The award ceremony begins at 6 pm after the race, but runners planning to depart Seward prior to the ceremony may face long traffic delays just trying to get out of town.

Runners who spend the night in Seward before the race enjoy Seward’s fireworks. Those who stay a day longer can wind down with live music and good food throughout town, tackling the Seward Highway on a quieter day. Just a caution, if you do plan to stay, lodging facilities, including local campgrounds, fill up very early! We recommend that you make your reservations when you apply for the race, even if you are not sure that you will make it in the lottery. Check out the “Where to Stay” section of this website for ideas.
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What if I get injured during the race?

All racers are ultimately responsible for their own safety and rescue. Serious injury has rarely occurred in past Mount Marathon Race® events. Runners who receive minor injuries generally finish the race. Local volunteers, including EMT personnel, are stationed along the mountain portion for all races and may be able to provide basic first aid on site. For serious injuries, the route volunteers attempt to maintain radio contact with one another, as well as contact with the Seward Volunteer Fire Department and Volunteer Ambulance Corps on the ground, who will coordinate any medical support and evacuation efforts.
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What else is going on in Seward?

The 4th of July celebration in Seward kicks off with fireworks at 12:01 am. Once dawn breaks, street vendors begin selling food, gifts, and other Alaska items up and down 4th Ave. Family activities are scheduled throughout the day – especially geared towards kids and the holiday parade is always a favorite, in between the women’s and men’s races. Most years, a military band also performs before the men’s race, which is always a highlight of the day. For specifics, be sure to check our July 4th information on the web here.
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Can I bring my dog to watch the race?

The Mount Marathon Race Committee and City of Seward have established a “no pets” policy for July 4th. No dogs, leashed or unleashed, are allowed on 4th Ave between Railway and Jefferson or along the race course, including all race trails on the mountain. This will increase safety for runners and spectators, and reduce problems with sanitation and clean-up. Please leave your pets at home.

Your pets are allowed in Seward just keep them off the race course or crowded downtown area.
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