Saturday, June 20, 2015

Mayor’s Midnight Sun Half Marathon Anchorage, Alaska Saturday, June 20, 2015 It was a beautiful day in Anchorage, Alaska as I walked the Mayor’s Midnight Sun Half Marathon on Saturday, June 20, 2015 as the skies were cloudy, the temperature was a constant 62 degrees, and there was no wind. The race started at 9 AM and utilized 1.5 miles of roadways, 0.5 miles of ATV trails, and 11 miles of paved bike paths and had 1664 finishers. Except for the ATV trail which was in terrible condition and had some short steep ups and downs, the course had great footing and offered much up and downs that were not very challenging. There were almost no spectators except at the start/finish as the bike paths were near Turnagain Sound in heavy forests. Only a few police officers and volunteers were needed to control the traffic on the little used roadways. Water/Ultima stations were located approximately every two miles and were manned by plenty of enthusiastic, efficient volunteers. This half marathon was a very important race for me as it was my 82nd on my artificial knee as well as my 49th state. Unfortunately for me I strained my hamstring on my left leg 8 days before the race. I decided to try to finish the race anyway as I had spent quite a bit of money getting to Alaska. Because there was a full marathon also be contested on a mostly different course that finished in the same place as the half marathon, the event would allow up to 6 hours for walkers to finish the half marathon. I had to take regular walking steps instead of race walking strides and settled into a 22 min 30 sec pace per mile instead of my 12 min 30 sec pace. There was some pain on each step but I decided to tolerate it as regular walking did not require my hamstring muscle to be used very much. It was slow going and I made it! As I write this on Saturday night, my hamstring does not feel any worse than it did before the half marathon. As a result I am happy; however, I am scheduled to do my 50th state next weekend in Kona, Hawaii and will probably have to try to do the same thing on Sunday, June 28, 2015. This event has been held for more than 40 years and is very well organized and fun to do. I did the marathon here in 2008. As a final note I would like to mention two special spectators that arrived near mile 8 as I was arriving. It was a mother and baby moose! Myself and my wife before and after the half marathon

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