What you should know about the race

July 3, 2011 

Men's contenders

Matias Saari, Anchorage

Age: 40

PR: 46:10 (2010)

Last year: 3rd (46:10)

Best finish: 1st, 2009

Eric Strabel, Anchorage

Age: 29

PR: 45:42 (2010)

Last year: 2nd (45:42)

Best Finish: 2nd (4 times)

Brent Knight, Anchorage

Age: 27

PR: 46:02 (2006)

Last year: 4th (46:24)

Best finish: 3rd (2 times)

Trond Flagstad, Anchorage

Age: 41

PR: 44:03 (2008)

Last year: 1st (44:40)

Best finish: 1st (2010, 2008)

Rob Whitney, Anchorage

Age: 32

Race rookie

Resume highlight: 1st place in last month's uphill-only Bird Ridge race

Mark Iverson, Anchorage

Age: 29

Race rookie

Resume highlight: 2nd last month at Bird Ridge; 2nd last year in Alyeska Mountain Run

Women's contenders

Holly Brooks, Anchorage

Age: 29

PR: 51:58 (2010)

Last year: 2nd (51:58)

Best finish: 2nd twice (2010, 2008)

Kikkan Randall, Anchorage

Age: 28

PR: 53:29 (2010)

Last year: 3rd (53:29)

Best finish: 2nd (4 times)

Rachel Dow, Seward

Age: 32

PR: 58:14 (2010)

Last year: 5th (58:14)

Best finish: 5th (2 times)

Aubrey Smith, Seward

Age: 31

PR: 58:57 (2008)

Last year: did not race

Best finish: 3rd (2009)

Leslie Varys, Wasilla

Age: 32

PR: 1:00:36 (2009)

Last year: Did not race

Best finish: 4th (2009)

The race

Junior race: 9:30 a.m.

Women's race: 11:15 a.m.

Men's race: 3 p.m.

Start: Fourth Avenue and Adams Street

Finish: Fourth Avenue and Washington Street

The race route

Length: 3.5 miles

Average angle of trail: 38 degrees

Steepest slope of trail: 60 degrees

Elevation at starting line: 30 feet

Elevation at peak: 3,022 feet

Where to watch

• Convene at the mountain's base to watch runners climb onto the 3,022-foot mountain and remain to watch the perilous descent of the cliffs near the base.

• Gather along the trail on the mountain -- but cede the trail to competitors.

• Kick back in camp chairs along Jefferson Avenue and Lowell Canyon Road, which runners take to the mountain.

• Watch the final sprint to the finish line along Fourth Avenue.

• Bring binoculars to watch the runners above the mountain's treeline and take particular note of the dust trail they leave behind on their wickedly fast descent.

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