SEWARD — Tough news for Mount Marathon racers chasing Allie Ostrander, which is everyone: The remarkable climber showed Tuesday she is also developing into a demon on the downhill.
In winning her first senior women's title, Ostrander not only led the field to the top of the mountain, but also delivered a downhill that easily dusted the field.
After hitting the turnaround in 36 minutes, 58 seconds, Ostrander generated a 12:21 on the downhill, and that allowed her to seize victory in 49:19, the second-fastest women's time in history. That 12:21 ranks as the seventh-fastest women's downhill since 2006, when accurate splits were first recorded.
Ostrander, the 20-year-old from Soldotna and a six-time Mount Marathon junior champ, tuned up for the downhill by practicing with Anchorage's Conor Deal, who dates Ostrander's sister, Taylor.
Ostrander's 12:21 downhill was the fastest by 34 seconds Tuesday — third-place finisher Christy Marvin of Palmer, the two-time champ, clocked 12:55. Ostrander's downhill was 59 seconds faster than in her only previous senior race, which came in 2015 when she finished runner-up to race record-holder Emelie Forsberg of Sweden (47:48).
Tuesday's women's runner-up, three-time U.S. Mountain Running champion Morgan Arritola of Boise, Idaho, clocked a downhill of 13:51, sixth-best among women but 1:30 slower than Ostrander.
Besides being quicker on the steep, technical descent, Ostrander possesses surpassing leg speed for the road portion from the base of the mountain back into the finish line in town. The Boise State runner is the reigning Division I steeplechase champion.
Deal knows his downhill. The former college hockey player finished a career-best 26th overall in the men's race in a personal-best 51:35 after posting the fifth-fastest downhill in 11:29. That downhill was Deal's fastest in his seven career races at Mount Marathon and allowed the 24-year-old to pass eight runners on the descent.
On the men's side Tuesday, Jacob Kirk of Anchorage posted the fastest downhill in 10:12 — that's the third-fastest since 2006 — to finish 13th overall (49:21). He was 28th to the top of the mountain and passed more runners on the descent (15) than finished ahead of him in the overall standings (12).
Ryan Cox of Anchorage ran the second-fastest men's downhill Tuesday in 10:35, the 10th-fastest on record. That blistering descent allowed him to pass 18 runners on the downhill on the way to a 22nd-place finish in 51:19.