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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

#112- The Anchorage Run Fest Marathon And 49K!

Knowing I needed Alaska in my quest to run a marathon in all 50 states, it didn't take much arm twisting when Bart asked me if I would like to come with him to run the Moose's Tooth Marathon in Anchorage (a part of the Anchorage Run Fest). We haven't seen each other since Vermont and we were both looking forward to getting away for a weekend full of fun, friends, food and of course, running!

Bart flew in from Philadelphia and I met him in Dallas so we could fly to Anchorage together. Flying to Alaska is beautiful, but flying first class is AWESOME! Not only is the food much better, but it was nice to have the extra room.

Breakfast in first class sure beats pretzels! 

Snacks in first class sure beats cookies!

I have done a lot of flying and when I do, I generally do not take a window seat, but boy was I glad I had one for out flight from Dallas to Anchorage. The views were gorgeous!

Mt. Hood

Mt. Adams

Mt. St. Helen

The clouds looked like snow over the water. Sometimes I would forget they were clouds.

This reminded me of the white wall in Game Of Thrones. 

Bart and I landed in Anchorage at a little after 7:00pm and we were taken directly to the Anchorage Run Fest movie night at the Bear Tooth Theater Pub. They were showing the film "Trails In Motion". See my Facebook live video here.

We were late for the movie, but we made it just in time to have a nice dinner with the race Director, Sharron Fisherman and Executive Race Committee members, Wally Wilson and Gregory Dixon.

Checking out the wildlife at the airport!

Moose selfie!

It was great to see Jeff Galloway and his wife Barb at the event!

After dinner we went to our hotel. We stayed at a cute hotel called The Voyager Inn. On our way there it started to rain and as we pulled up to the hotel, we saw a beautiful rainbow. Then Bart and I took a walk down to the water to try and get a glimpse of some whales. We didn't see any, but it was a nice way to finish the night. 


Low tide made it hard to see any whales.

After a good night's sleep, Bart and I were up to meet some runners for a shake out run with Jeff and Barb Galloway!

Runners ready for shakeout run #1!

Bart's group ran and Jeff took a group interested in doing his run/walk method. We ran 3 miles out on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail (which was a little preview of part of the race course). The weather was perfect and we had a lot of fun!

Bart, Elizabeth, Andrew and I on the shakeout run!

Congratulations to cute Elizabeth! She was just announced as a Top 10 finalist for this year's Runner's World Cover Search!

Bart and I stop for a pic! Awww!

During the shake out run I did a Facebook live video asking YOU to decide which race I would run. You can see the video here!

After the shakeout run, a few guys on the race committee wanted to take Bart golfing and since I am no good at golf, I took the opportunity to take a look around Anchorage. My Maniac friend Ed Childress sent me a message asking what we were doing, so I invited him to join me on my spontaneous sight seeing tour! 

The first thing we did was hop on the Anchorage Trolley Tour for a tour through Anchorage. Highlights included Earthquake Park, Westchester Lagoon and the float planes on Lake Hood and Lade Spenard.

Ed and I on the Trolley!

Lots of cool float planes!

After the tour, we walked around downtown looking in the shops and taking selfies with various stuffed bear and other wildlife.

Hey! Looks like I am not the only Yeti Trail Runner in town!

I don't quite know what it is, but it was creepy!

Some bears are mean..

...and some are nice! 

We also (at the suggestion of our tour guide) took a tour of the Federal Building and saw a short film on the gold rush and looked at a few more stuffed critters. 

We are Junior Rangers!

Our hi-jinks downtown and our tour of the Federal Building can be seen in these Facebook live videos here and here!

When Bart came back we went for Brunch at the most popular breakfast place in Anchorage, the Snow City Cafe. Wow! Did they have great food! I had a delicious grilled veggie and chevre panini and Bart had a egg and tofu scramble that he raved about.

Good eats at the Snow City Cafe!

After brunch, we headed to the expo for a little while and Bart signed some books and talked to runners until it was time to meet Sharron, Jeff and Barb Galloway and other guests for dinner at a brew pub called Humpy's! They had really good food there as well.

After dinner Bart and I took another walk to the water to catch the sunset and in hopes of seeing those whales we didn't see the day before. We got a beautiful sunset, but no whales.

The sunset was BEAUTIFUL!

Saturday morning we were out early for shakeout run #2! We ran the same route as Friday's run, but about 2.5 miles in, I got one of those horrible dizzy spells. It felt like I ran out of gas and just wanted to lay down. We were not running hard or fast and I had eaten a light breakfast so I wasn't sure what was going on. I told Bart to keep going and I just walked a quarter mile until I felt better. After the run I had some oatmeal and felt much better. Facebook live video here!

Shakeout Run #2!

After the run, Bart would be the MC for the Kids 2K run and the Anchorage Mile, so we showered and headed down to the park. 

The Kids 2K was so cute with all those little ones running around with their parents in tow. Bart was great cheering each of them in. Here is another Facebook live video at the Kids 2K. 

This little redhead loved Bart! He kept staring at him and following him. It was so cute!

I didn't run the mile but Elizabeth, Andrew and Ed did! I instead found some cute things to take photos with! Ha Ha!

Go Elizabeth!

Oooo! A Ram a Bear and a Moose!!

Go Ed and Andrew! Sub 7:00!!

OMH! Yeah, that is Star the Reindeer (or Caribou) and I am getting a selfie with her!

Bart doing a great job as usual! 

We headed to the expo after we left the park. Bart signed some more books and we picked up our race numbers, bought some nutrition and met the winner of the Ididaride and two of her cute dogs!! 

Dee Dee Jonrowe is a big deal in Alaska as the winner of the Iditarod (and a runner), but I couldn't get enough of her cute doggies!

This race did something that I have never seen done at any other race. Instead of having a pasta dinner, they had a pasta lunch! The lunch went from 12:30pm to 2:30pm and for the nominal fee of $10, we had a nice lunch of two different pastas and sauces, salad, breadsticks and drinks. I wasn't sure about this pasta lunch concept, but I have to say, this was great! Having pasta at lunch was so much easier on my stomach come race day.

During the pasta lunch, both Bart and Jeff Galloway gave really motivational talks to get everyone pumped up for race day!

Bart speaking at the pasta lunch.

After we left the expo, we went back to the hotel to relax before dinner. When the phone rang, we both wondered who would be calling our room? To my surprise, it was Janice and Tom Carnahan, the parents of one of my oldest and dearest friends Chris! They were in Anchorage for one day before leaving on a cruise and just happened to be staying at the hotel directly across the street from us! What a small world! I love them!

So freaking excited to run into Jan and Tom Carnahan!!

We visited for a while, then had to hurry and get ready for dinner. Sharron picked us up and we went to a nice little Greek/Italian place called Pizza Olympia. The Galloway's like to have soup before a race so they called ahead to make sure they could get it. I was still a little full from lunch so I just ordered some Feta cheese and olives and an order of Kalamarakia (that was way too salty, so I didn't eat much of it), while Bart had a lovely veggie pizza. I ate the cheese and some bread and that was just enough.

We left the restaurant and headed back to the hotel to get ready for race day, but not before heading out for a walk around downtown and back to the water to see if those darned whales were out yet! No luck.

We found quite a few bears on our walk!


BROWN AND SCARY BEAR!!! These guys were so tall!

Sunday morning was not only race day for us, but it was also race day in Rio as the men's marathon started at around 4:30am in Alaska. Bart woke up at 5:30am and turned on the TV and ran downstairs to get us some coffee/tea to enjoy before we had to get dressed for our race. We watched and cheered as Galen Rupp took home the Bronze and local Utah boy Jared Ward placed 6th in his very first Olympics. We also felt sad for my BFF Meb as he struggled in what would probably be his last Olympics.

I should have known better than to let a bunch of runners decide my race for me! YOU decided I should run the 49K instead of the marathon. Bart did not drink the Koo-Aid and stuck to the marathon. The 49K started at 8:00am and the marathon started at 9:00am, but Bart walked me out to the start anyway. Awww!

It was lightly raining when we left dinner so we didn't want to take any chances of getting dumped on during the race, so we walked to one of the souvenir shops downtown and picked up a couple of cheap rain ponchos. I was glad to have them in the morning as it was still lightly raining when the 49K got started. 

I am ready to go!

Bart and I at the Start!

Steve Walters is a BEAST! He ran a 100 miler the week before and still finished 4th overall in the 49K!

The race got started and within the first few miles the rain had stopped and I started to warm up. I took off my long sleeved shirt and tied it around my waist but held oh to my poncho. I have made the mistake many times of dumping my ponchos at the first sign the rain has stopped, then getting rained on the relentlessly for the rest of the race. This time, when I finally took it off, I tucked it in the band of my SPIbelt and ran the race looking like a Las Vegas showgirl with feathers sticking off her butt!

See my Facebook live video at the start here!

The course was BEAUTIFUL! We ran the first 10 miles along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. About 6 miles in, I had to use the bathroom, problem was I didn't see a port-a-potty in sight. I asked at every aid station and nobody could tell me where I could find one. When I got to the turn-around about 10 miles in and there was no bathroom there either, I was desperate, but the AMAZING volunteers took care of me and gave me some supplies to go in the woods! Don't get me wrong, I am a trial runner. I don't have a problem going in the woods, I just like to know in advance that I will have to and thus come prepared. Luckily, it all worked out and everything was fine. The second half had lots of potties.

Ed and I ran together for about the first 20K. He started cramping and I stayed with him as long as I could, but finally had to get moving so I would not get cold, but we had fun running together.  

Ed and I having fun!

Beautiful Scenery!

I saw an eagle's nest!

These cute girls were cheering for every runner out there! Thanks girls!

Facebook live video at 15K here!

I ran into Bart on the out and back!

Getting ready for the swan dive! Ha Ha!

Selfie by the ocean!

Runner's World Top 10 Finalist Elizabeth on the course! We would later share our love for the aid station with the M&M's!

After we finished the out and back on the Coastal Trail, we went out about 5 miles (and then back) on the Chester Creek Trail. Here we were seeing half marathoners, relay, marathon and 49K people! It made the trail kind of fun.

I had started running with a guy named Travis. We was good and tried to keep me moving. I was really tired. I have not been putting in the mileage I did last year and between that and going through menopause, I have put on some weight and slowed down. It SUCKS. I felt so out of shape.

Right after the last turnaround, I saw Bart and Andrew running together. They were not far behind me, so I slowed down and walked a little so they could catch me. Bart caught me with about 6K to go and we ran the rest of the race together. Usually Bart has to tell me to slow down, but on this day, he was running strong. I know I slowed him down, but he was sweet to stay with me anyway and we crossed the finish line together!  

Bart and I crossing the finish line!

We did it!
Facebook live video from the finish here!

Maniacs at the Finish

The Sheik and I!

Bart giving Elizabeth her medal! So cool!

Andrew and Elizabeth!

My 49K Medal!

After the race we went back to the hotel, got showered and went to a nice party at that Sharron and her husband Bill's house as a thank you to all the race committee members. We ate pizza and raved about what a fun event it was. 

Group shot at the party!

We said our thank you's and goodbyes and headed back to the hotel to pack and get a quick nap before catching our cab to the airport and we left Alaska.

I would like to thank Sharron and everyone on the Anchorage Run Fest staff (including all the volunteers) for not only putting on a fantastic event, but for treating us so wonderful. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING!!! We appreciate you all!

I also want to thank my sweet Bart! Baby, you are so good to me, I think I am being punked half the time! THANK YOU SO MUCH SWEETIE! XXOO

If you are looking for a race that has a race for all levels, come to the Anchorage Run Fest! You will love it and you will love Alaska! I know I did!