On a bluebird day, 50th Mayor’s Marathon women’s winner ‘gets out and has some fun’

Both the men’s and women’s winners were racing and visiting the state in a “double-duty vacation.”

Although she’s an avid marathon runner, Elizabeth Arnott-Hill enters each race with modest goals.

“I don’t really consider myself a competitive runner at all,” she said. “I’m just a middle-aged mom who just gets out here and has fun.”

On Saturday, the 44-year-old Chicago resident had plenty of fun. But she was also highly competitive, winning the women’s race at the 50th Mayor’s Marathon in Anchorage with a time of 3 hours, 4 minutes, 21 seconds.

On a bluebird day with temperatures in the 60s, Arnott-Hill said the race course, which she described as “absolutely breathtaking,” made for an incredible experience. She said she disabled the mile-split alert on her watch and just ran.

[Full results of 2024 Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon]

“I was just like, ‘I’m gonna get out and enjoy the day,’ ” she said. “I think the course just carried me along. The other marathon where I haven’t really paid attention to my time and just kind of ran was Paris. So Anchorage and Paris, you know, beautiful cities, beautiful scenery.”

Arnott-Hill stayed at the top of the pack virtually throughout the race and topped Homer’s Amanda Cherok by more than 10 minutes. But for the most part, she was blissfully unaware of both her time and her competition.

“I had no idea that I was leading,” she said. “I just thought it was like, ‘Oh, it’s nice that these race officials are a little bit in front of us just in case there was a bear or something.’”


She said she ran her first marathon in 2008 and completed around one or two a year until the pandemic. At that point, a number of races were deferred, meaning she has been more busy with running the past few years.

She ran Paris in 2022, and despite her assertion she “doesn’t really go out with any sort of plan,” she has now completed marathons in 44 states and has done 69 in total, including a number of majors.

Like many Outside runners at the marathon, Arnott-Hill is considering the trip a “double-duty vacation.” She and her family will head north to visit Denali National Park and Preserve before continuing to Fairbanks.

“It’s so fun to see everything,” she said. “My kids are here and they love the outdoors. We just love hiking. We love seeing wildlife. Obviously Denali, I think it’s going to be just amazing. I don’t even know what to expect because I just can’t believe this is the largest city in Alaska and there’s just so much wildlife and space and greenery.”

Her son, 14-year-old Xander Hill, also ran, completing the half-marathon.

In the men’s race, winner Nate Wellington had a very similar approach, visiting friends in the state and running the marathon without great expectations.

Wellington, 28 and from Helena, Montana, has friends from the state who moved to Wasilla.

“I figured it’d be a great place to come run and the course was gorgeous,” he said.

His time, 2:45:22, was right on pace with what he’d hoped. He thought perhaps that would land him a top-five finish, but not likely a win.

It was a group activity for the crew. His fiance ran the marathon, and his friends ran the 5K and the half-marathon.

“We’ve got a good crew up here,” he said.

Wellington is an experienced runner but the Mayor’s Marathon was only his third. He ran the Missoula Marathon, which qualified him for the Boston Marathon, which he ran in 2023.


“I feel like it’s a natural progression for a college runner,” he said. “You want to keep going and only get slower and can go longer.”

Unlike Arnott-Hill, Wellington was firmly in second place for much of the race before passing Anchorage’s Owen Marcotte in the final few miles to win. Marcotte, one of the state’s best in both marathons and ultra-marathons, finished second in 2:47:24.

“I was with him for a little bit and then (the pace) felt a little hotter than I felt like going out,” Wellington said. “I could see him in the distance and figured I’d just kind of chip away and ended up catching up to him.”

While Arnott-Hill and family will be heading north, Wellington is heading south. He, his fiance and friends plan to head to Seward for a relaxing day post-race.

Although it’s his first time on the course, Wellington said to be crowned the champion of the 50th Mayor’s Marathon was a special achievement.

“It’s pretty special,” he said. “It’s such a cool course and all the volunteers. There are a lot of people out here cheering, and it’s just pretty cool.”

Full results of 2024 Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon

Chris Bieri

Chris Bieri is the sports and entertainment editor at the Anchorage Daily News.