Safety is now more important than ever.
Race officials are always seeking ways to adjust operating procedures of their events, but one can say that after the disappearance of a 65-year-old runner at Alaska’s Mount Marathon, things would never be the same.
At last year’s edition of the arduous race, which takes competitors up and down the 3,000-foot Mount Marathon, last-place runner Michael LeMaitre disappeared.
LeMaitre was a rookie who had never competed in this type of mountain race before.
According to an article posted on the Huffington Post, officials have taken steps in this year’s race to make sure that safety is a No. 1 priority.
Runners must now meet specified time milestones or they will be forced to drop out.
Additionally, first-time runners must attest that they have scouted out the challenging route up the mountain before the head out on race day.
“I think racers accept that if you don’t want to do it, if you’re really worried about getting down in one piece, then don’t sign up for it,” 2009 champion Matias Saari said.