SEWARD -- One of Alaska's most venerated sports records took a tumble on a chilly Thursday afternoon when former University of Alaska skier Eric Strabel shattered a 32-year-old record to win the Mount Marathon race here.
Using a late burst of speed, Strabel finished in 42 minutes, 55 seconds for his second championship, toppling the 1981 record of Olympic skier Bill Spencer. Spencer's 43:21 time was rarely challenged for more than three decades.
Then in one memorable afternoon, two men broke it -- with runner-up Ricky Gates, the first racer to the turnaround point, finishing in 43:05.
Strabel also won the 2011 race in 44:40. He is currently a cross-country skiing coach at Alaska Pacific University.
Earlier in the day, rookie Christy Marvin demolished the women’s field that was missing Olympians who sometimes dominate.
Alone on the paved streets approaching the finish line, Marvin clocked a time of 53 minutes, 21 seconds. Alison Barnwell was second in 55:12, with Ann Spencer finishing third in 56:18.