Something particularly special happens in June. I pass a major birthday milestone...
in fact, one of life's major milestones. So what better way to celebrate this
important birthday than to run a half-marathon in Anchorage, Alaska?!
Last summer I began to look ahead to 2013 and to plan what states I wanted to add to my "half marathon in every state" quest. I was searching for a half-marathon in Alaska when I came across this race in Anchorage. This is it! this is the one I want to run! The race is on June 22, the day after my birthday and the day after I turn 65. At 65 I move into the next age group, and an increasingly rarified female runners' age group at that.
Getting to Alaska has been a dream of mine for several years, and in 2013 that dream will come true. In less than three weeks I'll be stepping off that airplane and at that point I'll be able to say, "I've visited all 50 U.S. states in my lifetime!"
Once I discovered this Anchorage race, I worked on my plans for the trip all during the summer of 2012. I found and booked a room at a great hotel near downtown and went ahead and booked my airfare. I began researching where to visit, what activities I wanted to do, started bookmarking websites, and getting on email lists. And waiting for the Mayors Marathon registration page to open. Slowly the plan started to come together over the winter.
Here's what the plan looks like so far:
18 June - arrive in Anchorage and check in to the hotel near the downtown area.
19 June - explore the city and adjust to the time zone change. Find a grocery store and buy toiletries and some snacks and some breakfast foods, especially for race-day morning.
20 June - Day trip to Denali National Park
|Day drive to Denali|
21 June - My birthday!! Pick up my race packet for the Mayor's Marathon/Half Marathon and stay rested and hydrated. Have dinner with "lower-48" friends who will also be in Anchorage, one of whom will also be running the race.
22 June - Walk out the front door of my hotel at 8:45AM and to the nearby starting line to run the Mayor's Half Marathon! Rest and recover, then have a celebratory dinner with a friend - fellow runner - and his wife.
|Half marathon route|
24 June - Day drive on the Porter Glacier Highway through North America's longest highway tunnel to Whittier, ferry ride to Valdez, and then return to Anchorage via Glennallen, gawking at glaciers, waterfalls, and wildlife along the way. Many photo opportunities on this route!
|I'll drive through this tunnel to get to Whittier and the ferry dock|
|The Valdez-Whittier Ferry|
26 June - check out of the Anchorage hotel and drive to Seward, staying the next two nights.
27 June - Kenai Fjords National Park sightseeing cruise.
|The tour boat|
|Our tour cruise route|
|Seward-Kenai-Anchorage drive route|
The next three weeks are going to drag as I anticipate this trip!! This will be a fantastic experience and I hope I can make the most of my time and take a whole lot of great photographs!!
Coming up: Three weeks of trying to keep up with my training in this outrageous heat and humidity here in South Texas! It was 78 degrees and 92% humidity this morning at 6:00AM! Ugh!