Olympic XC Skiers Duel At Mount Marathon Race

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jul. 6, 2011
  • Updated Jul. 6, 2011 at 8:46 AM UTC
Holly Brooks leads Kikkan Randall near the summit of Mount Marathon. Photo:

Holly Brooks leads Kikkan Randall near the summit of Mount Marathon. Photo:

Both runners put forth top-12 all-time performances.

Kikkan Randall and Holly Brooks, both Olympic cross-country teammates, dueled in one of Alaska’s toughest foot races on Monday. The 84th edition of the Mount Marathon Run pitted the two friends as rivals. In the end, it was Randall who prevailed, edging out Brooks with just a few hundred yards to go.

The race entails ascending and then descending the 3,022-foot Mount Marathon in Anchorage: a total of 7 miles roundtrip.

Both Randall and Brooks were so close to each other during the race that Brooks admitted afterwards they could have stepped on each other’s toes.

With the final two blocks to go, Randall made her move, gapping Brooks. Referring to Brooks’ pink headband that she wore in the race, Randall had this to say about the finish: “Just before the fire station, I decided, ‘OK, let’s make this exciting for the fans,’ and I put on a surge,” Randall said. “I kept waiting to see a pink headband next to me.”

Randall’s finishing time was 52:03, while Brooks clocked 52:22. Both athletes’ performances are in the top 12 all-time women’s times for the race.

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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