• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 35s

After life-threatening fall, Matt Kenney takes on Mount Marathon again

By Emily Carlson Photojournalist: John Thain - 10:40 PM July 4, 2014
SEWARD –

The look of sheer determination on Matt Kenney’s face Friday said it all: I will summit Mount Marathon.

“Perseverance, just to finish what I couldn’t start that day,” Kenney said.

That day was July 4, 2012. He slipped and fell more than 30 feet on the mountain and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Doctors told him he would never walk or talk. It took months of rehabilitation in Colorado and months climbing with friends to get him to where he is today.

Two years after he nearly died, Kenney came back to finish what he started.

“The only part that will never go away is my drive for today and that’s part of me you don’t turn off,” Kenney said.

He didn’t climb for time. He was there for himself, his family and the running community that helped him recover. His final time was two hours and 20 minutes. But that was a moot point compared to the reception at the finish line.

“I was looking forward to it, going through the rocks where I had my accident two years ago. I was looking forward to the people at the bottom screaming,” he said.

A kiss from his wife Gretchen is more precious than any race victory.

“To come back to this today, you can’t explain the feeling,” she said.

Kenney today has different priorities than Kenney two years ago.

“My wife is my best friend. She knew I could do this,” he said.

He crossed the finish line, thanks to his family.

“This is his passion, what he does and what he loves. This is his art, his canvass and I let him do it,” Gretchen said.

Kenney will take one day off, then it’s back to training on Sunday. He plans to run the Alpine Adventure Run in Sitka in two weeks. And of course, he’ll be back on Mount Marathon next year, and for many years to follow.

Latest Stories

  • News

    She was passionate about art & loved by many, says mother of child who died in South Anchorage fire

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 06, 22:19

    Last updated on Wednesday, May 6 at 10:30 p.m. A child was found dead after a fire ripped through a duplex in South Anchorage Wednesday morning, authorities say. The fire is now being considered as suspicious, the Anchorage Police Department says. Just after 2:30 a.m., the Anchorage Fire Department was called to a duplex fire […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, May 6

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 06, 20:47

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound Cloudy for the Peninsula with scattered showers especially below Clam Gulch. The PWS will have more steady rain. Southeast Dry conditions except for the far north (Yakutat area). There will be a mix of sun and clouds for the Panhandle. Interior/North Slope Interior areas will be mostly sunny in […]

  • News

    Moms get in free at Palmer Musk Ox Farm Sunday

    by Lauren Maxwell on May 06, 20:17

    Mother’s Day isn’t until Sunday, but one Mat-Su Valley farm is celebrating early with some special births. Three calves were born last week at the Musk Ox Farm in Palmer. The farm’s executive director Mark Austin said the calves are sticking close to their mother for now, but they are also getting used to human […]

  • Politics

    Anchorage mayoral election breakdown: See map and numbers

    by Kate McPherson on May 06, 20:02

    Ethan Berkowitz’s win over Amy Demboski Tuesday night may have come down to perceived extreme conservative views, according to pollster Ivan Moore. “That’s what happens when you show up to public confrontations with your sign vandal, with a gun on your hip and when you have Joe Miller endorsing your campaign,” said Moore. “That’s the […]

  • News

    SWAT training planned for South Anchorage Thursday

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 06, 18:03

    The Anchorage Police Department will be conducting SWAT training in South Anchorage Thursday. The private training will take place near the intersection of  O’Malley Road and Commodore Drive between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., APD spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said in a statement. “Training may include loud noises and/or gas deployment,” Castro wrote. “However, training should not […]

  • News

    New Dillingham courthouse set to open mid-June

    by Matt Martin/KDLG on May 06, 16:46

    Choggiung Limited is building the facility and then will lease it to the Department of Justice. The original completion date was May 1st but had to be pushed back more than a month because of material delays. Rick Tennyson is Land Manager at Choggiung Limited. “Now these doors are several hundred pounds each. These are sound lock […]

  • News

    What’s that smoke?: Anchorage airport conducting fire training

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 06, 15:40

    Large plumes of smoke may be visible at or near the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport while airport fire and police crews conduct training. Roughly 500 gallons of fuel are being used in the training, scheduled from 2p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, according to airport fire officials. As the training is located near […]

  • Crime

    AST: North Pole man sends accidental text to trooper offering to sell drugs

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 06, 15:07

    Three North Pole men were arrested Tuesday after one of them says he accidentally texted an Alaska State Trooper while trying to sell drugs. Logan Martz, 31, sent a text message to a Fairbanks AST drug investigator offering to sell him heroin. “Martz thought he was contacting someone else,” according to an online dispatch. Troopers went […]