Cheer Teams Needed: Juneau Marathon/Half Marathon & Aukeman Sprint Tri

    Like the athlete's jacket says "IT DOESN'T HURT TO TRI" or support those who are trying in any athletic event. (Klas Stolpe/KINY)

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Don’t think you can run a marathon? How about a half marathon? Three miles? Around the block? Swim in your tub? Bike to the store? No worries. 

      You can help others achieve their goals by putting together a “cheer” station.

      It is not hard. Just stand somewhere along the route and yell. Ring a cowbell. Hold a banner or sign with your favorite athlete’s name or a catchy mantra. Or contact race organizers to see if help is needed.

      For the Juneau Marathon/Half Marathon, contact race director David Epstein at or 907-465-4483. For the Aukeman Sprint Triathlon contact race director Liz Smith at or 907-957-6914.

      More than 60 runners have signed up for the Juneau Marathon and over 100 runners have signed up for the half.

      Online registration for the marathon and half marathon closes at midnight Thursday, go to and search for Juneau Marathon. In-person registrations and race bib pickup will be at Nugget Alaska Outfitters from 4-6 p.m. Friday, and at the Saviko Park Shelter on race day Saturday up to 10 minutes before each race. No credit cards will be accepted. Cash or check only.

      The early marathon start is 6 a.m., the marathon start is 7 a.m. and half marathon start is 9 a.m. The races leave Douglas’ Sandy Beach and are out-and-back affairs on the Douglas Highway. 

      “We have wide shoulders on North Douglas Highway,” Epstein said. He also noted the marathon is the Road Runners Club of America state championship and encourages racers “who haven’t done it before to drive the course. It is always advantageous. You can plan where you might want to stash some water or check out other spots you might be interested in…”

      The best cheering options are where you, the cheerer, believe your voice will carry the best and you will be viewed the longest. Sit on your porch, stand in your driveway, banner-ize a turnout or find a support station to be involved with.

      The final online registration for Sunday’s Aukeman Sprint Triathlon - a 750-meter Auke Lake swim, 19K bike ride and 5K run - closes at 5 p.m. Friday. Go to for final registrations. There is no race day registration.

      “We currently have 90 participants registered as well as one relay team,” Smith said. “We are super excited about it. I am impressed with how many people we have for the Aukeman Triathlon, a number are doing both (IRONMAN Alaska also)…”

      She noted the Aukeman "is a good run-through of all the transitions and (to) experience the lake temperature this year…we are still looking for some volunteers to join up…”

      Athletes MUST pick up their race packet between 3-4 p.m. on Saturday in front of the Mourant Building on the University of Alaska Southeast campus and attend a mandatory race briefing at 4 p.m.

      The Aukeman race day transition area opens at 6 a.m. Sunday and the swim start is at 7:30 a.m. The run course will close at 11 a.m. and following the race will be awards and snacks near or in the Mourant Building.

      Swimmers start at the UAS dock and finish at the Auke Lake boat ramp. Good cheer spots are best at the ramp and overlook or from safe distances on the water.

      Racers will next jog to the transition area in front of the Mourant Building and bike to Back Loop Road via the paved UAS path and travel along Back Loop Road to Glacier Spur Road and the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center and back. Cheers are always welcome along the transition routes, and there are two sides of the bike course always available for creative-minded supporters.

       Racers then run out UAS to Glacier Highway and turn left onto Auke Lake Trail to Goat Hill Road to Back Loop Road and return to Auke Lake Trail and Glacier Highway and UAS. Finish line cheers and the Goat Hill Road/Glacier Highway portions are best for banner waving. Best to not surprise runners inside the forested trail.

      And remember, IRONMAN Alaska is just over a week away so it is time to perfect the volume and exuberance of your cheering styles and support Juneau athletes as they compete against like-minded folks from around the world.

    Above/Below - Athlete support is key for any activity. Cheer on all the athletes at Saturday's Juneau Marathon & Half-Marathon and Sunday's Aukeman Sprint Triathlon. (Klas Stolpe/KINY)



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