Safety measures increase ahead of the July 4th Mount Marathon race in Seward

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Authorities are warning runners not to underestimate Mount Marathon in Seward as activity gears up for the traditional July Fourth run up and down the mountain.

Crews are working hard to ensure the safety of racers during the 3.1 mile race, KTUU reported (

Those measures include spreading the word about potential dangers.

Veterans will take novice runners up the trail June 21 to help familiarize them with the mountain.

Seward Fire Department chief Eddie Athey said anyone thinking of climbing the mountain, whether it's for a race or just a hike, should pack appropriately, and let family and friends know of their plans and a timetable.

"A lot of folks want to consider (Marathon) a day hike, and that's just simply not a good way to do that," Athey said. "If you're going to make a journey up that mountain, you should go with the mentality that I could spend more time up there than I thought."

The increased measures come a few months after Peggy LeMaitre filed a lawsuit against the race organizers, the Seward Chamber of Commerce. Her husband, Michael LeMaitre, disappeared in the 2012 race. She claims organizers were negligent and showed outrageous conduct.

Information from: KTUU-TV,

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