The longest day of the year means a long distance race for many in Anchorage. The Anchorage Mayor's Marathon & Half Marathon is a summer solstice tradition more than 40 years in the making. Runners from all over the world head to Anchorage on June 18, 2016, for the race.
Organized by the University of Alaska Anchorage and Anchorage Parks & Recreation, five running races are held simultaneously - including the Midnight Sun Marathon (26.2 miles), Alaska Half Marathon (13.1 miles), a marathon relay (4 x 6.5 mile legs), Coastal 5K and Buddy Half Marathon, in which teams of two or three runners split the half marathon course into sections relay style.
The race expo takes place June 16-17 at the Alaska Airlines Center on the UAA campus, with the races taking to the course on June 18, 2016. Online registration is available through the Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon website. The Healthy Futures Kids' Mile, also takes place June 16 at 7 p.m./ It's a free kids race run as part of the race weekend. Women's pro hockey player Zoe Hickel will be among those running with the kids, signing autographs and handing out medals.
The marathon course takes marathoners from the foothills of the Chugach Mountains on the east side of Anchorage, up the Chester Creek Trail and in to town at Delaney Park. The marathon course is certified by USA Track and Field and finishers can use their results to qualify for the Boston Marathon. It's also a popular run with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program.
Post Race Festivities
The finish line at Delaney Park is a few blocks away from another big event. The Summer Solstice Festival in Town Square and along Fourth Avenue is filled with all-ages fun. Toast your success at a nearby brewery, replace all those burned calories at a nearby restaurant.
Catch your breath after the race, and find some breathtaking sights just beyond the city. Glacier and wildlife cruises, flightseeing tours to Denali or Prince William Sound and day tours are great ways to add Alaska sights to your race in Anchorage.