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Denali Strabel flashes her uphill skills at Skyrunning World Championships

  • Author: Beth Bragg
  • Updated: September 13, 2018
  • Published September 13, 2018

Denali Strabel, seen here grabbing a drink atop Mount Marathon in the 2015 race, fared well in her international running debut Thursday. (Marc Lester / ADN archives)

Denali Strabel, a showstopper at July's Mount Marathon thanks to her lightning-fast descent, showed off her uphill ability Thursday at the Skyrunning World Championships in Kinlochleven, Scotland.

The Anchorage runner bagged a top-20 finish in her international racing debut, placing 20th in a field of 106 women in the all-uphill Mamores VK.

The vertical-kilometer race featured 1,000 meters of elevation gain in less than 5 kilometers. It's the first of three races that make up this year's world championships and will be followed by Friday's Ben Nevis Ultra and Saturday's Ring of Steall SkyRace.

Strabel, who nabbed second place at Mount Marathon thanks to a blazing downhill run, is one of three Alaskans on Team USA's 17-person contingent in Scotland.

The others are Lauren Fritz and Heather Edic, who are both entered in the Ultra, a grueling 52-kilometer race with 4,000 meters of climbing.

Although Fritz has competed internationally on many occasions as a cross-country skier, both she and Edic will make their international running debuts in the race.

Their race will take them to the top of Ben Nevis, which at 4,413 feet is the tallest mountain in the British Isles. According to Skyline Scotland, Ben Nevis was the scene of the world's first mountain race in 1895.

Claiming world championships Thursday were Remi Bonnet of Switzerland and Laura Orgue of Spain.

Bonnet led all runners in 39 minutes, 23 seconds. Orgue, a three-time Olympian in cross-country skiing, topped the women in 51:35. Strabel clocked 58:17 and was 31 seconds out of a top-15 finish.

Strabel, who grew up in Seward, said in a Facebook post that Thursday's race was a tuneup for Sunday's Ring of Steall, a 29-kilometer mountain race with 2,500 meters of elevation gain.

"Hopefully I feel right at home in the rain and mud," she wrote.

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