Humpy's Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska!

Hello Friends, Family and Neighbors-

Just back from Anchorage, AK where I had a fantastic time running Humpy's marathon.  The race is sponsored by Humpy's Great Alaskan Alehouse which is a cross between a wild west saloon and Cheers, with too many beers on tap to count, bar stools always filled and local bands featured on most nights.

blues band rocking the stage at Humpy's
I came directly to Anchorage from Vancouver, BC where I participated in the Lululemon Ambassador Summit Meeting.  This was a magical few days of company-learning and self-growth (more on this in a separate post).  Favorite daughter #2 navigated three airports to join me in The City of Flowers (Anchorage) and we got in as much as we could in our three days there.

Alaska is one big state!  It is the northern, western and easternmost point is the United States.  Think about that.  Northern most point, sure, Western most point, ok, but Eastern?  Get this, The Aleutian Chain extends into the Eastern Hemisphere and crosses the International Date Line.  Cool.  It is the largest U.S. state by area, the least densely populated and has a longer coastline than ALL other U.S. states combined...

Map showing Alaska superimposed over the continental united states
looking back over water into Anchorage

From the locals I talked to, I got the feeling that Alaskans don't much like big government telling them what to do.  Washington, DC and all of its politicians certainly seemed faraway and insignificant...

They love their own, with obvious admiration for Sarah Palin -- drove by Wasilla -- and palpable sadness over the loss of Ted Stevens.

*Factoid: AK has one registered pilot for every 58 residents -- 6X as many pilots per capita and 14X as many airplanes per capita than the rest of the U.S..

looking towards a faraway glacier

*Factoid: Anchorage -- Alaska's largest city with 42% of the state's population -- sits at the base of the Chugach Mountains and is surrounded by glaciers.  60 of Alaska's 100,000 glaciers are within 50 miles of Anchorage.

And so, without further adieu...

The Good
  • The Moose Encounter.  Favorite Daughter #2 and I encountered this Bull Moose along the Anchorage Coastal Trail.  We watched him for a while before he started walking towards us and (thankfully) veering off to the other side of the trail.  Too close for comfort! 
Bull Moose
  • Biking the Anchorage Coastal Trail.  This winding coastal trail led us through scented forests and by sweeping vistas.
looking through flowers to the mountains beyond

                    little mushrooms that littered the forest floor
Green forest floor.  *Factoid: Anchorage broke a record for the most consecutive days of rain while we were there... 28 days.

  • ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) adventure across Alaskan back country.  Single file through mud lakes -- deep enough for soaked shoes -- and over gnarled tree roots and rocks.  Cool, but.......
...why did I wear white?

for surroundings like this...

me and Favorite Daughter #2

  • Meeting up with Bart Yasso, the official Mayor of Running, and Debbie Cropper, 3 time winner of Humpy's marathon and winner of the inaugural Outback marathon.  She and I were in Australia together just two weeks ago.  Serendipitous!

Debbie, Bart and me

  • The Marathon.  I have not felt this light, this strong and this good -- during a marathon -- in a while.  Spiritual.  Placed 2nd in my AG (age group), was the 14th female finisher and 55th finisher overall.  Why?  Why two weeks after running The Outback marathon and trashing my quads hiking -- then running down -- the Grouse Grind (Vancouver's premium trail with an elevation gain of 2,800') just days before.  Who knows, I was just happy for it!

just before race start
product testing this hydration belt

  • Meeting Michelle.  She and I live miles from each other but met for the first time in Anchorage.  She is honoring her mothers' memory by running a 1/2 marathon a month for 12 months.  This is a link to her blog.  Go Michelle!
me and Michelle at race start
  • My 2nd AG coffee mug...
my winnings

No Bad and No Ugly
(sorry, I know this can be fun...)

Many have been asking about my progress in my quest (to run a marathon on every continent, in each of the 50 states and the 5 marathon majors -- a marathon a month -- for Alexandria charities).  Click here to read more about my 2010 RunningBrooke beneficiaries.  Here are the stats:
    Easter Island, Chile
  • 5 Continents done -- North America (various), South America (Easter Island, Chile -- 1st Female Finisher), Europe (Berlin), Asia (The Great Wall, China) and Australia (Ayers Rock in The Outback).  Only Africa and Antarctica (March, 2012) to go.
  • 4 out of 5 Marathon Majors done --  Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York.  London is scheduled for next April.  Thanks Marathon Tours for getting me in (again).
  • 14 States done -- AK (2nd AG), FL, MA (Boston 4X), OR, OK, MD (JFK 50), TN, PA (PR of 3:09), AZ (1st AG), NV (2nd AG), VA (MCM 2X -- 5th AG in '07 -- and Richmond), IL, NY and MN.  The rest of 2010: NE, CO, NC and SC.
  • Over $22,000.00 raised for Alexandria's at-risk children and families.
  • Phili Distance Run
  • 23 marathons to date, at least one a month run since October, 2009, and feeling strong!  Also, over the years,  I've competed in the JFK50 (50 mi. ultra marathon, qualified for Western States), The Seagull Century (100 mi bike race), The Lake Anna 1/2 Triathlon  (1.2 mi. swim, 52 mi. bike and 13.1 mi. run, 1st AG) and the Philadelphia Distance Run (1/2 marathon, PR of 1:29).

My next race is in Omaha, NE in late September where I'll meet up with the 50 States Marathon Club members.  Some fun RunningBrooke invitations will be coming out soon;  I hope that you all will be able to join me.  Cheers!



Dash said...

Looks AMAZING! Congrats! :)

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