Search Continues for Missing Seward Racer
SEWARD - It has been six days since a 66-year-old runner disappeared during the Fourth of July Mount Marathon race.
A massive search effort has been underway to find Michael LeMaitre, who was last seen near the top of the mountain.
CBS 11's Heather Hintze was in Seward and joined us on the phone with the latest on that search.
On Friday and Saturday about 40 people from several agencies did a grid search of the mountain while a helicopter scanned from above.
The search is now in the hands of Seward firefighters and volunteers.
The Seward fire chief says 11 of his firefighters were combing the brushy area of the mountain Monday, and a number of volunteers were up there as well.
He says some crews are doing a more thorough search through areas that have already been checked.
Seward firefighters will search all week and the neighboring Bear Creek Department will be used as needed.
The fire chief says it was a tough weekend for everyone, but now crews are more motivated than ever to find LeMaitre.
"Now morale is back up and they want to make sure they get him. So I think it's high for the local people. We've had a lot of people call from Anchorage and are willing to come down. And we're going to take care of them tomorrow, they'll be on the mountain,” said Seward Fire Chief David Squires.
The Seward fire chief says volunteers are welcome to help in the search, but asks they check in at the fire station first to be assigned an area.
He also reminds volunteers the mountain is still slick from all the rain the past few days, and says everyone should come prepared.
LeMaitre's disappearance isn't the only thing to mar the race this year. Another runner is in a coma with a head injury after falling during the competition.
The Seward Chamber of Commerce executive director says in light of both these cases there will be changes to the race next year.
But since most of the race committee members have been on the mountain looking for LeMaitre, they haven't had a chance to discuss what those changes will be.