Anchorage Run Fest
The Anchorage Run Fest is a collection of running events that celebrate all abilities runners from the elite to the back of the packers. The out-and-back route of this run fest takes runners through Anchrooage’s downtown before heading out along the beautiful and scenic coastline and through Anchorage’s wooded greenbelt. Keeping with Anchorage Run Fest’s “wild” reputation, the city’s thriving urban wildlife is often spotted along the course.
The Run Fest core began as Humpy’s Marathon in the 1990s. In 2008, it included a Thursday to Sunday celebration of races and was dubbed Big Wild Life Runs in honor of Anchorage’s brand “Big Wild Life.” In 215, during the fall, Anchorage Run Fest adopted its name to lend more attention to the city of Anchorage and to bring attention to the running celebrations’ diversity. This event attracts runners from all over North America and across the world. The number of participants continues to grow year to run the flat and fast Anchorage Mile and the scenic 5k, 13.1 miles, 26.2 miles, and the 49K courses.
A dedicated all-volunteer race committee puts on this event, and it is the primary fundraiser and most significant event for the nonprofit organization Anchorage Running Club. Funds raised through the Anchorage Run Fest are used to provide college scholarships to high school sports teams, deserving high school runners, and other athletic events that support the organization’s mission to promote a healthy lifestyle through running and exercise.
This event is held annually in August and welcomes racers of all abilities. Staying true to its name, this event is a weekend devoted to running and offers something for every person. Each race is unique and far from the ordinary. It is the perfect place to train for upcoming races, as the Anchorage Run Fest marathon qualifies for the Boston Marathon. The 49k race goes beyond the marathon turnaround point on the Coastal Trail, and all participants must tackle the well-known Kinkaid Hill before returning to Cheste Creek and eventually downtown.
Jeff Galloway, olympian and lifetime runner, named the Anchorage Run Fest as one of the most scenic races in the nation in his book “America’s Best Places to Run.” Besides the wildlife spectators, this event also features local organizations turned into staff aid stations, race course neighbors, area high school cross-country teams, and musical groups from taiko drummers to polka to entertain and cheer on racers.