Mount Marathon News

Subway and Olympian Kikkan Randall Are Champions of Healthy Living

By Erin Kirkland

It’s hard to overstate Olympian and lifelong Alaska resident Kikkan Randall’s enthusiasm for healthy living. Her signature grin and shock of pink hair have inspired legions of young people across Alaska, even before Randall and teammate Jessie Diggins brought home a gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

“Stay active, eat well, and do your best” have long been Randall’s
mantras, and as a force in Alaska’s competitive skiing and running circles, successful ones at that.

Olympian Kikkan Randall helped cultivate a culture of healthy living in the Last Frontier through her partnership with Subway. Photo courtesy Kikkan Randall.

Subway of Alaska and Randall forged a partnership in 2006, teaming up to encourage positive food choices and daily exercise for the benefit all Alaskans.

Through carefully-crafted messaging, Randall and Subway spread the word, hosted events, and quickly generated a whole new way to promote good food and regular activity.

“I was so excited about the opportunity to partner with such a strong brand as Subway,” Randall recalls. “They already had a great campaign going to promote healthy eating, and I was proud to contribute as a role model for healthy activity.”

Dressing up like a superhero to save Alaskans from unhealthy lunches, running kids to their respective finish lines, or leading the charge to involve more girls in athletics are only a few of Randall’s most memorable moments with support from Subway. And even though Randall and her family have moved away from the Last Frontier, her positive contributions, and Subway’s, remain strong.

“Thanks to businesses like Subway that really care about our community, I’ve seen local youth activities grow in number and get more impactful than they used to be back in my younger days,” Randall said. Activities, she says, that challenge kids to be at their
best, from the inside out.

July 4, 2018 marks the 91st running of the Mount Marathon Race in Seward, and this year, Subway is sponsoring the midnight fireworks show in celebration of Independence Day.

Kikkan Randall hits the base of the mountain in the 2010 Mount Marathon Race. The following year, she won the women’s race with a time of 52:53. Photo courtesy Alaska’s Focus Photography.

A fixture of fast, fresh dining since 1994, Seward’s Subway store near the small boat harbor has been owned and operated by Mr. Young Jin Park for almost 15 years.

Randall was a formative competitor in both the Junior and Senior races, tackling her first foray into the steep, risky slopes of the namesake mountain in 1994, and won the Women’s division in 2011 with a record time.

Eating fresh, making lifelong choices for wellness, and staying active; Kikkan Randall and Subway Alaska still agree on the message, with a generation of successes all on their way to a strong, healthy Last Frontier adulthood.

Seward’s Fourth of July fireworks Display is proudly presented by Subway. The fireworks will launch near the Mariner’s Memorial (Seward Boat Harbor) at 12:01 am on Wednesday, July 4. Popular viewing spots include the Waterfront Park, Seward Boat Harbor, or from a boat in the bay. 

Erin Kirkland is an Anchorage-based freelance travel journalist, author, mother, and active participant in the #eatfresh mantra. Follow her family’s adventures at

Get to Know Advanced Physical Therapy

Advanced Physical Therapy is an Alaskan employee-owned and managed practice. Our team consists of Physical Therapists, athletic trainers, and administrative staff, who are committed to providing advanced care in all aspects of healing.

Our physical therapy clinic provides unparalleled quality of treatment. We recognize no two clients are alike. We customize therapies to fit each individual and their needs. Whether the problem is simple or complex, our clients enjoy the journey to physical well-being with hands-on therapy, a personalized movement program, and health education to last a lifetime.

Advanced Physical Therapy takes pride in helping the communities we serve and athletes of all different types. You can often find us at many different community events all over the state, from the sidelines of the local high school soccer game in the valley, a 5k run in Fairbanks, a hockey game in Soldotna, or maybe a mountain race in Anchorage—we love supporting our communities!

We are often onsite to perform injury screens, pre and post-race support to include post-race care, orthopedic assessment, or advice and education on how we can help you! Please make sure you stop by our tent for any questions or needs you may have and to get some free post-race care!  Advanced Physical Therapy wishes everyone a safe and fun race!


Advanced Physical Therapy is proud to be a platinum sponsor of the Mount Marathon Race for the third consecutive year. APT offers injury-prevention, training, and rehabilitation strategies for optimal athletic performance at five clinics throughout Alaska. Learn more at

Announcing Altra as the Official Footwear Sponsor 2018

We’re proud to welcome Altra Footwear as our new Platinum Partner and the Official Footwear Sponsor of the 2018 Mount Marathon Race!

Altra Footwear was started and inspired by the mountains of Utah, so it’s no surprise the brand has a rich history of mountain and trail running. Altra’s shoes have won countless awards; their FootshapeTM toebox, ZeroDropTM midsole and Fit4HerTM gender-specific fit make Altra shoes the perfect choice for comfortable, natural and performance-minded running.

Altra’s preferred shoe to tackle Mount Marathon is the King MT 1.5. This trail shoe features a Vibram® MegaGrip™ outsole with deep 6 mm lugs for lateral breaking, medial gripping and excellent traction. Above this is a lightweight, responsive Altra EGOTM midsole with a reinforced mesh upper and durable FootLock™ descent strap. Pair that with the Altra Trail Gaiter, and you’ll be ready to conquer both the uphill scramble and downhill controlled fall of our unique course without thinking once about your feet.

The King MT retails for $140 and the gaiters retail for $20. Both are available at or at your local specialty running retailer.

Although this will be the 91st running of the Mount Marathon Race, Altra will be our first-ever footwear sponsor. We’re thrilled to connect our community of mountain runners with this innovative trail running brand!

Learn more about our Altra and their footwear at


About Altra

While working at a running store, Altra founder Golden Harper was frustrated that modern running shoe technology caused poor running form and had not decreased running injuries. His passion to create a shoe that followed the science produced Altra’s FootShape™ toe box and Zero Drop™ platform. Since its founding in 2011, Harper and co-founder Brian Beckstead have grown Altra from one to 25 shoe styles, winning multiple Editor’s Choice awards and distribution in more than 60 countries. Join the conversation @AltraRunning and #ZeroLimits on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Media Contact: Colleen Logan, VP Marketing,


Train Smarter with Advanced Physical Therapy

Stay Healthy on Your Path to Race Day

Happy Spring, runners! Despite the unpredictable weather here in Alaska, it won’t be long until the long and sunnier days of summer return.

To help you prepare for race day, we’re excited to share a 10-week Mount Marathon training plan developed by Collin Atkinson, PT. Collin is a Seward-based physical therapist at Advanced Physical Therapy, one of our leading race partners. 

In conjunction with the training plan, Collin will be providing race clinics and recovery talks in Seward. For more information about these events, follow APT–Seward’s Facebook page and join the “Advanced Physical Therapy Mount Marathon” group on Strava.

Click here for a PDF of the week-by-week training plan.

General Training Principles:

You should be running easy on your non-workout days. There is such a thing as running too fast on your easy days. Easy running days are designed to build up your body’s resilience to repetitive load. In addition, most runners will find that speed and competitive running improves dramatically with a focus on running slower on easy days.

Change is OK. A plan is not a rigid structure, but it is designed to be a framework. Listen to your body. If you are feeling sluggish, or don’t have the urge to run, it is ok to change workouts or take the day off. Change the plan to meet your life—not the other way around.

It is more important to reach the start line healthy than it is to stick to a training plan. Hill running requires significant leg strength and coordination (neuromuscular control). Rest can make the difference between running in this year’s race and watching on Fourth Avenue.

If you do find yourself dealing with a nagging injury, schedule an evaluation with your local physical therapists at APT. You may not even need a referral to have your visit covered by insurance.

Final words of wisdom: If you find that you like some workouts more than others, it is ok to modify the sample program to reflect your preferences. Keep it fun!


Advanced Physical Therapy is proud to be a platinum sponsor of the Mount Marathon Race for the third consecutive year. APT offers injury-prevention, training, and rehabilitation strategies for optimal athletic performance at five clinics throughout Alaska. Learn more at

Off-Season Conditioning Tips from Advanced Physical Therapy

It’s Never Too Soon to Start Preparing for a Healthy Race

Advanced Physical Therapy is excited to continue to support the Mount Marathon Race, and more specifically, YOU—the racers! Leading up to the race, we will be providing advice and information to help with training, staying healthy, and injury management advice. 

Here are some of our favorite tips for staying in racing shape throughout the off-season.

Tip #1: Don’t let your ankles take a vacation

Many Alaskan winter activities and sports keep the ankle in a higher boot, which means the muscles in the lower leg and ankle take a break from participating in stability and balance. Yet come spring, activities like mountain running demand ankle control and proprioception (the body’s ability to sense position). There are several ways to get your ankles back up to par to keep you sprain-free on race day!

Single-leg balancing: One tip to help improve this skill is to practice single leg balancing. Ensure you have ample space around you and consider starting with hand support onto a counter or chair if needed. To make this more challenging, adding a soft or unstable surface can increase the reaction time for controlling subtle corrections for balance. Start with standing still, then add a small arm and other leg motion to progress the level of difficulty. For a real challenge, close your eyes.

Ankle support: Do you have an existing ankle injury? Have you worn ankle braces or had your ankles taped for a race? Providing appropriate support to a joint or injured area at the right time through a healing progression is recommended. If you train with support (braces or tape) then use those on race day. On the reverse, if you don’t train with either, keep race day consistent and skip the taping. Seek medical and movement advice ahead of time in the pre-season to help know what is best for you.

Tip #2: Put your back into it

Getting to the top of the mountain creates a lot of demand to the buttock muscles. Activating and controlling the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius through the full range of the hip joint is very important.  One exercise to help with recruiting these muscles is a dynamic hip “running man”.

Start by balancing on one leg with the opposite leg brought forward and the other arm up (If standing on the left leg, raise the left arm and right leg). Move slowly through a running-like motion into a long stride lunge with the raised leg moving backward. Controlling this motion with good balance can help strengthen the glute muscles on the leg you are standing on.

Tip #3: Sometimes it’s good to tiptoe around

Strengthening and endurance training through the “posterior chain” (muscles on the back side of the body, generally used for extension) should also include the lower leg muscles. The calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) can be strengthened through heel raises, as well as tip-toe walking. Getting into the full range of motion (the full movement) will ensure you maximize every step to get up 3,022 feet. 

Tip #5: Don’t forget your core

Another common area of weakness that can be easily addressed is trunk or core strength. Core conditioning is a vital aspect for strength and performance, particularly for mountain running.

A plank exercise is a good skill to incorporate the upper body, trunk, and lower body by integrating alignment, coordination, and strength.

Correct form in this exercise is of utmost importance. Keep your chin and head looking down, shoulder blades pulled away from your ears, elbows pulled toward the hips, abdominals engaged, glutes and quads active. Avoid collapse of the low back. Hold as long as you can maintain all aspects listed above.

Tip #6: Save stretching for the end of your workout

There is a common misunderstanding about stretching prior to activity. Several studies and research show that static stretching (place and hold a position for a period of time such as 30 seconds) can actually hinder muscle performance and neuromuscular control, the communication between the brain, nerves, and muscles. Keep this activity at the end of your training for the day, not before.

Instead of stretching, consider repetitive, dynamic movement in your warm-up. A walking lunge, brisk walk, or even skipping can warm up muscles and move through joint ranges to help prepare the body for long strides and muscle recruitment.

Looking ahead

As the sun returns and you start training on the dirt versus snow, we encourage you to maintain safe and effective training. Advanced Physical Therapy understands your investment in and passion for mountain running. Optimizing movement and catching an injury before it happens can ensure you stay healthy leading up to race day.

We are excited to offer exclusive clinics for race participants leading up to the 2018 Mount Marathon Race. We plan to provide Functional Movement Screens to help catch any weak areas you may have and offer advice for corrective strategies and exercises. Stay tuned for more information!

Advanced Physical Therapy (APT) provides research-based care and respectful service at their five locations across Southcentral Alaska. You’ll find their skilled physical therapists in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Seward, Soldotna, and Wasilla. APT is proud to be a leading partner of the 2018 Mount Marathon Race.

Visit Advanced Physical Therapy online to learn more or schedule an appointment. 

Beat the Crowds and Book Lodging Early

The Fourth of July holiday is our busiest time of the year in Seward. Up to 30,000 visitors flock to town, and lodging will definitely sell out. Book early to secure your favorite accommodations!

Find accommodations here!

For more tips on planning your visit to Seward,  request a copy of our 2018 Destination Guide or visit the Seward Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center online.