Search Is On For Missing Marathon Runner

Photo Courtesy: Seward Resident Lindsey Lenette von Borstel


by Natalie Travis




(Seward, AK) The search is on for a Mount Marathon race rookie, who never came back down the dangerous mountain on the 4th of July in Seward, according to Troopers. The race is notorious for being a challenge, injuring racers frequently.
Troopers say they've been working around the clock to find 66-year-old Michael LeMaitre whose family reported him missing around 9pm yesterday {Wednesday}.

Officials did spot him at one time during the race, and like long time friend assemblymember Dick Traini says, unless aliens snatched him up, he's got to be out there somewhere.

 "I know that race officials saw him while he was ascending the mountain, he had asked them how much further it was, they gave him an approximate distance before they cleared out," said Megan Peters, Spokesperson for the Alaska State Troopers.

"Mike's a great person good heavens..." said Traini.  "Seemed in good health,  looking forward to going to the mountain, he was trying to get me to go with him, I chose not too, that's never been on my bucket list of things to do, don't want to put it on there," Traini said. Traini has known LeMaitre for years and used to work with him in family support at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson.

"I'm a good friend of his, we've been office partners for about 10 years, I just recently retired from there, not more than 15 feet from where his desk was located, said Traini.

With weather hampering the search, Alaska State Troopers have a tough time working through the rain and fog, search teams and a rescue dog joined in the effort. Even those off duty tried to help.

"A trooper that was off duty that had actually ran the race, after he got word that someone was missing, he went back up the mountain and back down in an attempt to find him," Peters said.

 "The family of the man and some personal friends are staying right here in Seward because, they want to be close to where he is and then be right there and be the first to hear," said Cindy Clock, Executive Director for the Seward City Chamber of Commerce.

LeMaitre was last seen 200 feet from the peak, wearing black running shorts and top.

The Seward City News says Seward Fire Department personnel are asking residents please not to help, or to go to the mountain, because more people in the area will hinder and confuse the search operations, also conditions on the mountain are dangerous.

Marathon race officials did not return our phone calls, neither did the LeMaitres. All of our thoughts are with them through this trying situation.