Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Juneau Trail and Road Runners (JTRR) held their third race of the year at the Mendenhall Glacier Saturday with a 1 mile and a 10 K race fundraiser.
Pictures are best viewed on a computer.
The race kicked off at 10:00 a.m. with the 1-mile option starting from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center's parking lot. At 10:30 a.m. was the 10 K start, with some people who participated in the 1-mile also running in the 10 K. It also began from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center's parking lot and the turn-around was near Montana Creek on Mendenhall Back Loop.
Timekeeper Shawn Miller talked about the event while waiting for the runners to return from the 10 K.
"This is an annual race, it's been going on for at least 15 to 20 years. I've had the honor of being able to participate in the race either as a runner or a volunteer. It typically benefits the track team, with all the proceeds going to Thunder Mountain High School. Previously it went toward the Juneau Douglas High School," he said. "10 runners participated in the one mile while 35-40 runners participated in the 10 K, which is lower than normal. Previously for the 10 K we had 60-80 runners."
Some of the runners in the Mendenhall Glacier 10 K Saturday also have participated in Ironman last year.
Miller's own personal record from the early 2000s for the 10 K is 31 minutes and 49 seconds.
"It's a fast course, it's flat, it's a great way for people to see where the fitness level is if they want to run a fast race, especially this early in the racing season," he added. "It can be pretty scenic. One of the challenges with this race I think is the last 1.2 to 1.5 miles there's a gradual uphill before you get to the last corner before flying down to the finish. There's probably a three-quarters of a mile stretch where it feels really long because you're slowly going up an incline. It's a good course to push the effort."
If someone wants to volunteer for a future JTRR race, Miller said they're welcome to reach out to a race director. Find out the race director's contact information for specific races on the race schedule.
For the Mendenhall Glacier Race, high-schoolers who had never timed before helped volunteer. Miller said anyone can help by setting up or cleaning up as well.
1 Mile Winners
1st place was #2928, 63-year-old Guy Crockroft who finished in 7 minutes and 48 seconds.
2nd place was #2932 12-year-old Kinley Johns who finished in 9 minutes and 38 seconds.
3rd place was #2930, 6-year-old Dylan Nielsen who tied with his mother, Kaili Nielsen, in 11 minutes and 13 seconds.
Above: Kaili Nielsen and her son who both finished in 3rd in the 1-mile run past News of the North reporter Jasz Garrett. Nielsen cheerfully encouraged participants around him to keep going, even cheering on stand-by photographers. (Photo credit Jasz Garrett/KINY)
10 K Winners
1st place was #3333, 30-year-old Zack Bursell who finished the 10 K at 33 minutes and 35 seconds, which timekeepers said was three minutes quicker than his 10 K last year.
2nd place was #3330, 16-year-old Edgar Vera, who came in close behind Bursell at 37 minutes and 20 seconds. It was his first time in this particular race, but he said it was his second 10 K.
3rd place was #3329, 15-year-old Owen Woodruff, who finished the 10 K at 40 minutes and 1 second. Like Vera, it was his first time in this 10 K race, although he said he regularly practices running the route.
Above: Bursell runs on the gleaming rainy road towards the finish line. Below: Vera finished roughly three minutes after Bursell. (Photo credit Jasz Garrett/KINY)
Below: Woodruff runs towards the finish line. (Photo credit Jasz Garrett/KINY)
News of the North interviewed the 10 K top three runners about their experience in the Mendenhall Glacier race.
Vera shared what he took from the experience.
"It was actually really nice. The weather wasn't the best, but it was a really fun race," he shared. "A great community of runners out there. It was really supportive and great. Every race is different and you learn something new."
Bursell shared what he gets out of running.
"I just love the feeling of running. The feeling of being able to use my own body to get around and explore, and it's fun to have competition sometimes," he said. "It's cool to race against people and like Edgar said, be a part of a little community of people that like the same thing. I've done this race several times before, it's one of my favorites."
Woodruff, the youngest of the three winners, shared why he's passionate about running. He goes to Thunder Mountain High School and while he isn't on the track team that the 10 K benefits, he plays baseball and runs cross-country.
"I run every day before baseball. I live kind of close, so I've run the same stretch of road many times," he said. "It was nice I was kind of familiar with the course. I've been running since I was pretty young, it's always something I've kind of just done. But over the past few years, I've been training a little bit harder. I love running; not necessarily the running part, it's really hard, but after I'm done with a run, I feel very accomplished with myself. And I love the outdoors."
Above and below: Families participated in the 10 K. One runner, #3754, April Rezendes ran the entire 10 K while pushing #3755, Finn Peterson in a stroller. Yet somehow, he looks more tired than her! (Photo credit Jasz Garrett/KINY)
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