The two frontrunners, both Olympians, aren’t attending this year.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, two of the top contenders at this year’s Mount Marathon are skipping the race.
The annual event is an arduous 3.5-mile run up and down the 3,022-foot Mount Marathon in Seward, Alaska.
Both defending champion Holly Brooks as well as 2011 winner Kikkan Randall are absent from the start race. The women are Olympic nordic skiers and are preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympics — stating they can’t risk an injury on the difficult course.
The top contender is Christy Marvin. The 32-year-old is debuting with a solid Alaskan mountain-running record this year, having prevailed in races on Knoya Ridge, Government Peak, and Bird Ridge.