Many in Alaska will be celebrating a milestone for women’s athletics this Independence Day in Seward.

For the first time ever, the women have the prime time afternoon spot — and the live television coverage that goes with it.

From now on, the afternoon time slot will rotate between the men and women every year.

On this week’s show, we take a look at the impact of this change and get a preview of the competition in this year’s running of the race.

Highlights:

    • KTVA’s Emily Carlson profiles two women who have competed in Mount Marathon 35 times. She also talks about her own training for the race, her second. And you won’t want to miss this: footage of Emily as a competitive ice skater. She talks about how her experience in one sport has helped in the other.
    • Our guests are two-time champ Holly Brooks and Clint McCool, who has 17 races under his belt. Holly and Clint will help KTVA’s Dave Goldman call this year’s live race coverage. Get the inside scoop on who and what to watch.

The race changed forever last year when two Europeans — Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg — set new records.

Some of their friends, like Yngvild Kasperson, are expected to compete – so it remains to be seen if Alaskans can reclaim the championship in both races.

I hope this week’s show gives you an appreciation for what a gem Mount Marathon is, how it is evolving into an international event yet remains a chance to see Alaskans in peak condition — from young to old, women and men — tackle a mountain that is always a frontier, no matter how many times you’ve run it. It’s so inspiring to hear what this race means to those who dare to “dance with the mountain,” Clint McCool’s way of describing what it takes to win.

Be sure to watch KTVA’s live coverage of the men’s race, which starts at 10:30 a.m. Women’s coverage begins at 2 p.m. You can see it all on KTVA Channel 11 and GCI Cable Channel 1. It’ll also be streamed live on KTVA.com.

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