Getting up in years but not slowing down

July 4, 2011 

The over-the-hill gang did a pretty nice job on the mountain Monday.

The men who won the three oldest age-group titles etched their names into the Mount Marathon record book, in one way or another.

Anchorage's Thomas Coolidge, 60, broke the 60-69 age-group record by finishing in 1 hour and 6 seconds. That erased the old record of 1:00:56, set by Fred Moore in 2000.

Don't fret for Moore, though. The Seward man still owns the 70-79 age-group record, a 1:07:09 he ran last year in his first year in the division.

Moore didn't sniff that time this year -- he clocked 1:09:45, which still put him at the top of the age group.

Moore, lean and fit at 71, owns another race record, the one for the most consecutive races won. Monday marked his 42nd straight finish, meaning he has now raced in half of the 84 races held since Mount Marathon began in 1915.

Just don't tell him that what he's doing is remarkable.

"No it isn't," he said. "This is what 71 is supposed to be like if you take care of yourself. You just have to want to."

Another record came in the 80-89 age group, where division winner Corky Corthell (1:56:45) broke his own record for being the oldest finisher in history. The Anchorage man is 82.

APU mountain team

Turns out the Alaska Pacific University ski team is as dominant on dry land as it is on snow.

APU, which landed skier after skier on the victory podium at last season's national championships and several other race series, filled the podium at Mount Marathon too.

The top three men and the top women all hail from APU.

In the men's race, the coach showed the competitors how it's done. Eric Strabel, one of APU's coaches, came from behind to steal victory from a pair APU skiers -- second-place Brent Knight and third-place Mark Iverson.

In the women's race, Kikkan Randall -- the star of the APU program with multiple World Cup victories and three Olympics -- was the winner, followed by teammates Holly Brooks and Kate Fitzgerald.

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