Next to the Iditarod, The Mount Marathon Race has got to be one of Alaska’s most popular races – on foot or no. Held every 4th of July in beautiful Seward, AK, thousands of fans line up to watch racers compete in this exciting-but-grueling mountain climb. In fact, Mount Marathon is the OLDEST mountain race in the US! While the race itself isn’t actually a marathon, its approximately 3.1 mile course contains an average slope of 34 degrees, with 60 degrees being its steepest incline. This race is a battle, but so many runners have found it to be worth it that registering can be far more difficult; with a lottery AND auction in place, just getting to the starting line is an accomplishment! The race’s prestige has grown to the point of attracting international mountain racing superstars every year.
Check out the official Race Website to learn more!
Another Anchorage RunFest is a 4-day festival typically held in August, with races held on the final two days. What began as the humble Humpy’s Marathon in the 90s has grown to become a vibrant community celebration of all things running! Movie showings, pasta feeds, and fitness expos add to the fun. As far as races go, there’s something for everyone, from children to seasoned veterans. The final race day is epic, with a 5K, half AND full marathons, and a 49K Ultra happening all on the same day!
Click here to learn more about Anchorage Runfest!
Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon & Half Marathon
There are few better ways to celebrate Summer Solstice than participating in Anchorage’s Mayor’s Marathon. Held on the Saturday closest to Summer Solstice, approximately 4,000 racers participate every year and every state is represented
along with various countries. Another fun fact: It’s a time-qualifier for the Boston Marathon! The race starts in Anchorage’s east side in the foothills of the Chugach Range (a testament to the breathtaking natural environment found within city limits!) and culminates with an exciting finish in downtown Anchorage. Not a marathoner? No problem: there’s a marathon relay, half marathon, 4-mile race, and 1.6-mile youth race to accommodate every level. One thing is for sure, the Mayor’s Marathon festivities make for a sensational Solstice celebration.
Want some fun in the sun? You can find more info on the Mayor’s Marathon here!
Lost Lake Run
The Lost Lake Run is a local favorite and supports a good cause: since its inception, the race has raised over $2 million for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The gorgeous 16-mile trail is only able to accommodate up to 750 runners by US Forest Service law, and registration is known to achieve capacity within MINUTES of opening! The race begins at the Primrose Campground in the Kenai Peninsula and ends in Bear Creek, just outside of Seward. The views are incredible and worth the elevation gain of 2,350 feet. To sweeten the experience, the post-race BBQ features great prizes, including Alaska Airlines tickets.
Click here to learn more about the Lost Lake Run!
The Equinox is arguably Alaska’s most historic race. Every year since 1963, the city of Fairbanks has hosted this marathon near the autumnal equinox, around mid- to late-September. Runners are met with a variety of terrain, including a mix of wide and narrow trails and pavement. The race is punctuated by a challenging climb over Ester Dome – that you do twice. Regardless, the Equinox Marathon makes for a fun-filled time in Fairbanks, where culture and history are highlighted in a way that makes the city’s pride that much more apparent.
To learn more about the Equinox Marathon, visit the official race website!
Of course, there are too many races happening all over AK to include in this one entry. But you can find them all by clicking here!