Mount Marathon Race 5K
Where: Seward, Alaska
Why Do It: When a racecourse is dicey enough that organizers hold a session to demonstrate how to navigate it safely, it’s definitely not your run-of-the-mill 5K. This race, which traces its roots to 1915, is more boulder scramble and obstacle course than run, as participants make their way up 3,022-foot Mount Marathon, navigating singletrack and slippery, rocky sections along the way, with tens of thousands of spectators watching the carnage. In 2013, the 32-year-old course record was smashed by winner Eric Strabel, who finished in a blistering 42:55, with Rickey Gates a close second despite dislocating his shoulder after a face-plant on the way down. If all this sounds more delightful than death-defying, be sure to sign up early, as applications for the race’s lottery for its approximate 1,000 slots are due between Jan. 1 and March 31 every year.
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