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Mt Baker Marathon - The Mountain Runners

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Todd Warger, a Northwest historian and filmmaker, has produced a documentary about the original Mount Baker Marathons of 1911-1913. In these amazing races, local men raced by automobile, train or horseback from Bellingham to the foot of Mount Baker, ran through forests and up glaciers to the summit, then retraced their route back to tidewater, completing the round trip in as little as 9-1/2 hours. Information about the film (and a trailer) can be found here:




The film is set to be released at the end of May 2012 during Ski to Sea week in Bellingham. (Historical trivia: The Ski to Sea race was inaugurated in 1972 to revive the spirit of the original marathons.)


Warger and his crew hope to get the film shown at the Banff Film Festival, Taos, and other festivals across the country. They have received interest from PBS and European venues. To help launch the film, they have created a fundraising page on "kickstarter.com". This gives them 44-days to reach a goal of $20,000. I'm posting this note to help spread the word. Pledges can be a little as $5. Every little bit helps.


Here is the kickstarter.com page. Note that this page has a different trailer than the one linked above:



Here is a description of the film from imdb.com:


The Mountain Runners is the story of America's first mountain endurance/adventure foot race, which took place in Bellingham, Washington. First run in 1911, the grueling 28 to 32 mile race to the glacial summit of Mount Baker and back lasted only three years due to its intrepid dangers. Told in a docudrama style, the film incorporates vintage images, historic film, visual graphics and 3D effects, and recreated dramatizations staring William B. Davis (X-Files, Smoking man). The film is well supported by a cast of Cascadian historians, descendants of race participants and a group of world-renowned experts in their field. Interviews with multiple contemporary champion athletes and authors, including: alpine speed-climbers and climbing author, Steve House and Chad Kellogg; ultrarunners Krissy Moehl, Scott Jurek, and Doug McKeever; and Second Wind author Cami Ostman, reveal a look back at the accomplishments of their endurance-athlete predecessors with astonishment...


Note: I have no financial interest in this project. I just think it's a worthy effort and a cool idea.

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completing the round trip in as little as 9-1/2 hours. ...


Really? Wow.

Travel by train or cars was fair game, not that that didn't create additional hazards in the process. Some great photos here

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Some great photos here


Great pictures Curt.


Regarding the times, I got my information from John Miles' book, "Koma Kulshan: The Story of Mt Baker". Notes found here:




It's interesting to note that one of the pictures you linked to says that Paul Westerlund went to the saddle but not to the summit during the 1913 race. That's the one that had the 9-1/2 hour winning time. I'll have to look at the book again, but I don't think John Miles mentioned that detail.

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Todd Warger sent me a note to say that the Mountain Runners film will be shown at the Tacoma International Film Festival on Monday, October 8, at 6 pm in the Grand Cinema.


The film will also be shown at the Vancouver International Film Festival on October 6, 8 and 11. (I assume that's Vancouver, B.C.)


No Seattle screening has been scheduled yet. For more information, see:



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