Girdwood, Alaska – Alyeska Resort will host four mountain foot races this August and September. All races begin at the tramway base and include the following: Alyeska Mountain Run – vertical trail course to the upper tram terminal, Fun Guy/Fun Gal Run – five kilometer lower mountain run, North Face Vertical Challenge – ten hour climb-a-thon and Tram-to-Tram Run – a seven mile rainforest course. All four mountain foot races are designed to offer friendly competition, welcoming participants of all fitness levels.
The Alyeska Mountain Run will take place on Saturday, August 13, 2011 and features a 2,200 vertical foot gain over a three kilometer distance. The race is part of the Alaskan Mountain Runners Grand Prix Series representing the series’ final stop. Last year’s race attracted over 50 runners and the winner finished the course in just over 26 minutes. The entry fee is $30 and includes a tram ride down to the base once runners have finished. Race registration will begin at 10:00 A.M. with the race is scheduled to start at 12:00 P.M.
The Mountain Run is open to all ages and participants under the age of 18 will need a parent or guardian present to register. The event is timed to kick off the 2011 Blueberry Festival taking place in the Alyeska Pond Courtyard on Saturday and Sunday, August 13 and 14, 2011. The festival celebrates Alaska’s wild blueberries and features live music, arts and craft booths and blueberry-themed feasts. For additional about the race and registration, please go to: www.alaskamountainrunners.org.
In celebration of Fungus Fair, Alyeska Resort will host the annual Fun Guy/Fun Gal Fun Run on August 28, 2011 in partnership with the ChugachNational Forest. The course is 5 kilometers and takes runners along the base of Mt. Alyeska. There is no capacity limit to how many runners can compete and this race is known for attracting a big crowd. Registration is open to all ages and the entry fee is $15 and includes a souvenir. In addition, the first 60 runners registering will receive a commemorative 2011 race t-shirt. The race begins at 8:00 A.M. Participants uneasy about running 5 kilometers but want to participate, the Spore Sprint is a fun and shorter alternative.
The North Face Challenge is a climb-a-thon demanding running up the 2 plus miles course and is scheduled for September 10, 2011 for the fourth year. After the mile run, participants then take the tram down to start another lap. The event continually attracts numbers of alpine foot racers from all over Alaska looking to conquer the daunting task of lapping the 2,200 vertical foot trail as many times as possible in a ten hour time frame. Given its vertical gain, multiple switch-backs and breath-taking views the North Face trail is an Alaskan classic. The 2010 North Face Vertical Challenge winner, Clint McCool of Anchorage, completed 12 laps and set a new record in this endurance event. His effort equated to 26,400 vertical feet, which is higher than most Himalayan peaks. The entry fee is $20 in advanced and $30 day of race. The race usually takes from 9:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. with registration beginning at 8:00 A.M. at the tramway base. This event is also open to all ages.
Lastly, there is the second annual Tram-to-Tram Fun Run being held on September 18, 2011 and begins at the base of the Aerial Tram. The course utilizes the much celebrated Winner Creek Trail adjacent to the resort. The seven mile course follows Winner Creek for three and a half miles out to the hand tram then double-backs to the resort. Registration is open to all ages and begins at 2:30 P.M. There is a registration fee of $20 which includes a post run cook-out at Glacier Express Restaurant for participants. The run begins at 3:00 P.M. and post-run festivities will conclude at 6:00 P.M. All proceeds from registration will go to the Winner Creek Bridge Fund, and participants will receive a souvenir pedometer to keep track of distance, time and number of steps during the race.
For more information about these race events and upcoming events at Alyeska Resort, please visit AlyeskaResort.com.