FAIRBANKS-Early Saturday morning by the roundabout near the Patty Center, with temperatures in the 20s, nearly 960 people ventured out on the 26.2 mile course for the 51st Equinox Marathon. This marathon is regarded as one of the hardest in the country. The 1500 foot climb up Ester Dome had snow on it this year.
In the end David McKay, rookie Equinox runner from Iowa City, Iowa came in first finishing the grueling marathon in 2 hours 49 minutes and 21 seconds. Matias Saari was runner up again this year, a little over two minutes after McKay.
Another first time runner Ben Marvin out of Palmer was third in 2:58:55. His wife, Christy, in her second Equinox Marathon won the women's title finishing in 3:21:34. A top 8 finish and 8th best all time for a woman. AJ Schirack won the overall title in the ultramarathon which is a 40 mile race in 5:12:09.Shawn Mctaggert finished the 40 miler in 6:05:21 for the women's title.
In relays the Squirrels team of Devin McDowell, Allan Spangler and Bryan Wright won the men's title 2:51:48.9. For the women's relay Nellie Ballou, Kristen Herringa and Laura Brosius received the title in 3:25:53.
"I wasn't planning of getting it at all," McKay. "It ended up that I got a little lead and I think I built on it a little more and was able to keep it so it didn't really think I was going to hold the lead the whole time. I thought the last couple miles would be, Id be duking out with somebody."
Saari says, "just having a good time out there not and not worrying too much about [it]. It's not all about winning I mean sure you wanna win but tip your cap when someone runs faster."
Christy talks about the spirit of a race like the Equinox Marathon and how it proples runners to new levels.
"Everybody works together and there's a lot of encouragement and support out there from fellow racers and that's really fun," Marvin said. "That's what running is all about is encouraging each other and doing the best that you can that day."