Alaska has a new king of the mountain.
Anchorage’s Eric Strabel, 31, won the men’s race at Mount Marathon in Seward on Thursday in 42 minutes, 55 seconds. That bests the previous and iconic record of 43:21 set by eight-time champion Bill Spencer in 1981 on the 3,022-foot peak.
Amazingly, Strabel was not the only one to break the men’s record Thursday in the 86th running of the race. Ricky Gates, a former member of the U.S. Mountain Running Team running in Mount Marathon for the first time, also bested Spencer’s standard. San Francisco’s Gates, 32, came in second this year in 43:04. Another rookie, Wylie Mangelsdorf, finished third in 44:09.
In the junior race, Soldotna’s Allie Ostrander picked up her fifth girls crown — a record. This is also the fifth straight time Ostrander won the race.
The 16-year-old Kenai Central junior finished in 31:40, taking 70 seconds off the 2012 record she set in the 15- to 17-year-old age group.
Ostrander holds all three age group records, as well as the overall record. That overall record is 30:32 and came when Ostrander was 14.
Palmer’s Alyson Kopsack, 13, was runner-up to Ostrander this year, finishing in 38:22.
Palmer’s Lyon Kopsack, 17, won the boys junior race in 27:03 for his first junior win. Seward’s Michael Marshall, 16, finished second at 30:36.
In the women’s race, rookie Christy Marvin, 32, of Palmer won in 53:20.
Seward’s Allison Barnwell, 21, finished second at 55:11, while Anchorage’s Ann Spencer, 18, was third in 56:15.