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Search under way for missing marathon runner

Posted: July 5, 2012 - 11:07pm

ANCHORAGE — A search was under way Thursday for a man last seen competing in the Mount Marathon race in Seward on the Fourth of July.

Michael Lematrie, 66, of Anchorage, was last seen Wednesday by race officials about 200 yards from the top of the 3,022-foot mountain, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

The shale-covered mountain is the scene of a grueling race each Fourth of July where runners scramble up the mountain and back down as fast as they can. Cuts and bruises, even broken bones, are fairly common. KTUU reported three people were injured in Wednesday’s races.

Lematrie was one of 325 runners in the men’s division. The men’s division race was run after the women’s and junior’s divisions and began at 3 p.m.

All runners were supposed to check in with race officials by 6 p.m., said Cindy Clock, executive director of the Seward Chamber of Commerce.

Lemaitre’s family reported him missing to authorities at about 9 p.m.

“I have never heard of this happening,” she said Thursday. “We are just awfully sympathetic to the family and hope Michael is found soon.”

Megan Peters, spokeswoman for Alaska State Troopers, said Lematrie is believed to have poor eyesight and was not wearing his glasses when last seen on the mountain. He was wearing bib number 548.

The weather in Seward has been rainy and foggy.

Peters says a trooper helicopter began searching for Lematrie at 2:18 a.m. Thursday. The Alaska Mountain Rescue Group also is involved in the search.

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