Precosky wins Mount Marathon

Six-time winner crosses mountain in 46 minutes

Posted: Friday, July 06, 2007

SEWARD - Brad Precosky's remarkable reign in what is likely Alaska's most prestigious and scary foot race is not over.

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Precosky won his sixth Mount Marathon race Wednesday, breaking the record for the 40 to 49 age-group and finishing the race scrambling on scree in 46 minutes and 14 seconds.

Precosky thought going up the 3,022-foot mountain that this might be the year that he was beat. A couple of runners were in front of him.

"Everybody slows down sometime," Precosky said. "I had a fleeting thought: 'Maybe today's the day I slow down.' "

But Precosky etched another victory after making a speedy descent on the mountain with the 38-degree pitch. It was his second consecutive win in the race that began as a bar bet and has been run 80 times since 1915.

Precosky on Wednesday also broke Clint McCool's 40-49 age-group record, knocking 19 seconds off McCool's 46:33 winning time in 2005.

The standard bearer for mountain men in Seward is course record-holder Bill Spencer, who won Mount Marathon eight times.

The 350 runners were cheered on by thousands of spectators who lined city streets, the base of the mountain and the rugged trails for the 80th edition of the roughly 3.5-mile race. Cloudy skies and a breeze made conditions ideal for racing.

Cedar Bourgeois, 31, of Seward, kept her crown as the reigning Mount Marathon queen. She completed the race in 52 minutes and 21 seconds - 12 seconds faster than last year. It was her fourth victory. She crushed the rest of the women's field by nearly five minutes.

"This one is special. This is the 10th anniversary of my first race - 1997 was my first one where I came in third and it started the bug. I would never have thought 10 years later I'd have four," she said.

Bourgeois said she felt more wobbly this year.

"It was pretty scary," she said. "I tried to gather it together. One twist and I can't go on, but at the same time (I'm) wanting to do my specialty, which is the downhill, well. It's tough."

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