Friday, June 28, 2019

Anchorage Marathon Race Recap

 Last Saturday a friend and I ran the Anchorage Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska. We woke up the morning of the race and of course it was daylight out. It was actually daylight everyday from 5am until about 2am. This race was fairly small, less than 700 runners. We drove to a parking lot to ride the bus to the start. There was no problem parking or getting on the bus as one came by every 15 minutes. When we arrived at the start there was barely any lines for the porta potty. That's one indication you know it's a small race. 





Soon it was time
to line up for the star spangled banner and they also sung Alaska's state song(which I have never heard). They reminded us that we would be out in the wilderness and there is always a possibility to see wildlife. 

The first 6 miles flew by on the the road and soon we were at the first transition spot for the relay exchange. This is where the terrain became dirt. Up ahead we saw a bear off the course probably about 200 yards away but close enough to get a quick picture. I thought we will be seeing some wildlife now that we are off the road.  But unfortunately not, just more uneven trails.


 We started talking to a repeat marathoner that said 9 miles. I thought oh good we have one more mile to go to reach 9 miles. And she said NO there is 9 miles on this trail. What??? I had no idea that almost half this race was going to be trail running. There was even an area where there was single track in the woods since it was so narrow.

Finally we were off the trails between mile 15 and 16. By this time I was ready to go because I was happy we were back on pavement and not trails. But unfortunately my friend was not feeling it. His leg started to bother him and we were doing this together so we slowed down and even walked at certain points. 

It was about mile 21 and in addition to his leg bothering him he was getting side stitches.  I asked him if he would mind if I just went ahead because I was over it at this point and just wanted to finish. He told me to go for it and I did. Those last few miles I was moving. I even clocked in mile 23 around 7:40 pace. 

I overheard someone say one more hill and I thought to myself oh no, but I powered through and was happy it was over with.  But then I saw there was another hill up ahead. Why do they do this at the end of races? I finally saw the red arch and sprinted up the final hill. But wait there is more. That was not the end.  That was just the running shoot where they call your name after you cross a few seconds later. We continued running through onto the grass until the actual finish line. 


After I crossed the finish line they had a bunch of goodies such as homemade raisin bread from a local bakery and cookies, watermelon, and even toasted cheese. There was even a complimentary massage tent. I waited for my friend to finish and he was really hurting at this time and wanted to leave right away. 



After we cleaned up we treated ourselves to a delicious dinner and dessert and visited the summer solstice festival in downtown Anchorage. 




20 comments:

  1. So did you actually enjoy it? It's kind of unclear. Your friend didn't take advantage of the free massage?

    I love local food at the end! I've also done very small races where there aren't enough portapotties & there are still lines, so that to me is a sign of a well organized race.

    OTOH, you definitely need to know in advance if you're going to be running on trails! And that's hard to do just a quarter of it on trails, too. But I imagine there are lots of trails in Alaska (never ran there).

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    1. Yes I did enjoy the race. One of the most scenic races I have done and weather was perfect. I think I was just getting frustrated when I kept walking with my friend. It was harder for me to do that then to just finish it! I don't even think my friend saw the free massage tents. He was hurting really bad at the end and just wanted to leave.

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  2. Sounds like a really cool race! I'm surprised it was on trails. That's a different kind of running. Were you sore after it? Congrats on that speedy finish! You're having a great year of running.

    BTW, your cover photo has a typo...just though you'd want to fix it.

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    1. I thought I would be more sore after all that trail runningnbut I wasn't.

      Thanks for the heads up on the typo.

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  3. Wow, it looks beautiful, but I'm impressed you could handle all those trail miles you weren't expecting mid-marathon -- you must be in great shape! I would love homemade raisin bread and watermelon - great post-race food!

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    1. That raisin bread was the most delicious treat I had tasted in awhile. Maybe I was just starving after my race.

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  4. Wow! A 7:40 mile at that point in a marathon? Awesome! Actually, I think I would love the trail part of the race. I like races run on a variety of surfaces. I think this race is on my list for 2020.

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  5. I forgot about that trail part! I paced a friend, too! He did awesome but struggled from 22 - 24. Did you enjoy it?

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    1. Yea I did. I think going slower on the trails made me feel good to speed up afterwards when we got on the road.

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  6. Alaska is such a beautiful place to visit. How was the weather? Looked good. Did you enjoy the race? Sounds tougher than expected with all the trail running. Congrats to you and your friend~

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    1. Thanks! Alaska was much warmer than I thought it was going to be. I thought no matter what time of year you'd visit it was always Jeans and sweatshirts but itbwas in the 80s and I was wearing tank tops.

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  7. This sounds like such a fun adventure! Congrats on the speedy finish. How cool to be in Alaska at the solstice! We we there in August a few years back and loved it! I have considered running this one and the website does indicate a variety of unpaved surfaces. For that reason, I'm sort of surprised it's Boston certified.

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    1. I guess I missed that part when signing up. But honestly I dont look at the profile more the elevation at races. I guess I like the surprise.

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  8. I hear ya on the trails. My 10k last October was a combo of gravel, trail, single track, and pavement, and my knee was shot after the single track.

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  9. I thought with all the trails and woods we ran through we would have seen more wildlife.

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  10. I would love to visit Alaska and of course, run a race.

    Too bad your friend was hurting. It's hard to run a race with someone else. I've only done it once.

    I don't think I'd mind the trail part at least for variety and because i never run my halfs for time.

    I do hate when the hills are at the end!!

    Congrats. sub 8 mm at mile 23. Wow!

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  11. You saw a bear during the race?! YIKES! That would have either made me run faster or slow down and get twitchy at every little sound. I'm surprised there was a mix of trails and road, I would want to switch shoes midrace. But it looks GORGEOUS - I hope to run a marathon in Alaska one day. Would you recommend this one?

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  12. I love that they have the sun on the medal - dang, that's a lot of hours of daylight there! Really glad for you that you got to run a marathon in Alaska but sorry to hear your friend was hurting so badly and your race didn't go as smoothly as it could have. Oh well, you ran a marathon in Alaska!! That's something not a lot of people can say. :)

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  13. What a fun race! Sorry about your friend hurting during the race. I love that you saw a bear, too! I might have to make it back to Alaska, just to run a race! :)

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.