ANCHORAGE – Former University of Alaska Anchorage standout Paul Rottich earned his third straight victory in the men's marathon Saturday on a picture-perfect morning in the 2017 Anchorage Marathon & Half-Marathon, presented by ConocoPhillips.
The Portland, Ore., resident and Kenya native crossed the finish line at the Delaney Park Strip in personal-best 2 hours, 27 minutes, 11 seconds, improving his time by 66 seconds from last year. Rottich, who was also runner-up in the 2014 race by just two seconds, earned the win despite a brief bear encounter on the course. Allan Spangler – the 2014 half-marathon champ – was runner-up in 2:33:02.
The women's marathon was won by first-time marathoner Keri MeEntee in 3:04:25, who finished ahead of fellow Fairbanks resident Rebecca Rolph (3:22:09).
In the 13.1-mile half-marathon, Chad Trammell crossed in 1:15:00 to outdistance fellow local runner Ryan Cox, while on the women's side, Suzy Rivard – another Portland resident – earned the victory in 1:27:14.
Daniel Bausch was the men's winner of the Coastal 5K in 15:58, and Michelle Baxter earned the women's title in 18:52.
Nearly 4,000 runners competed in the 43rd annual event – co-produced for the 17th straight year by the UAA Athletic Department and Anchorage Parks & Recreation – which featured participants from 19 countries, 48 states and the District of Columbia.