Overall Rating
Overall Rating (20 Reviews)
4.1
(20 Ratings)  (20 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.7
SCENERY
4.3
PRODUCTION
4
SWAG
4
The Anchorage RunFest attracts runners from all over the United States and across the globe. The number of participants continues to grow as individual runners and groups both large and small travel to Anchorage to run the fast and flat Anchorage Mile, and our scenic 5K, 13.1 mile, 26.2 mile, … MORE
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L (° F ) 54 53 52 46 53
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Recent reviews

    cperdue FIRST-TIMER '22

    The race is mostly along the coastal trail which is so beautiful, minor hills not a super challenging course. Cute finisher metal, good atmosphere along the race route. MORE

    The race is mostly along the coastal trail which is so beautiful, minor hills not a super challenging course. Cute finisher metal, good atmosphere along the race route.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    ambrown.ak REPEAT RUNNER '22

    Great race weekend. I did the military mile the day before (which was a bit uncoordinated with conflicting time and locations) as well as the half marathon. The trail was … MORE

    Great race weekend. I did the military mile the day before (which was a bit uncoordinated with conflicting time and locations) as well as the half marathon. The trail was beautiful… Though the course ended with an uphill as most of the runs here do! Moose spotted along the route. No real expo. Just a simple packet pick up. Medal was beautiful and I loved the t-shirt this year!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    erbVanZan FIRST-TIMER '22

    Can’t do much about the weather. It was not cold nor pouring rain or windy, but it did rain everyday we were there. The awesome views of the mountains were … MORE

    Can’t do much about the weather. It was not cold nor pouring rain or windy, but it did rain everyday we were there. The awesome views of the mountains were less spectacular. August is rainy season.
    So far I don’t know my actual time because there has been no results sent to me nor posted or updated on the website??? So far no opportunity to give that race feedback. Sorry if this is inappropriate to write here, but I was a little put off and surprised to watch one of 2 women Pacers, step off to the side of the trail, stand and pull her shorts over and urinate standing up. (Not behind a tree, or bush or even at least a few yards off, But right NEXT to the trail) I understand the urgency if you have to go, but there were woods everywhere!!!

    The positives: The race was a nice course all along the coastline or Chester Creek trail. I did get to see a moose and her calf! The tech shirt is ok, kind of a silly design making it not that wearable to many places. The medal is very nice.
    I loved hearing Bart Yasso on the phone to start the race! Post race had nice options except I had to tell my friend go find chocolate milk from a hotel lobby. Grilled cheese and big cookies were great. I was disappointed I could not get a seltzer at the finish, (yes I did not read the fine print that I needed my license). It was explained to me later why Alaska requires an ID for everyone when I did go to Humpy’s that evening. I would hope at packet pick up that the ID could be checked and a wristband or something marked on our bibs for post race. This is how many other races handle it… I don’t carry my ID with me during a race.
    Otherwise a very nice race, good volunteers, a few musicians playing, well marked, and good post race options!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
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    enigma20 Sep 02, 2022 at 7:27pm

    You should be able to see your results here: https://anchoragerunfest.org/runner-info/results/

    You should be able to see your results here: https://anchoragerunfest.org/runner-info/results/

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    erbVanZan Sep 02, 2022 at 8:04pm

    Thanks, but maybe I’m just thick in the brain right now, but it still is showing just registration? I can’t seem to refresh it???

    Thanks, but maybe I’m just thick in the brain right now, but it still is showing just registration? I can’t seem to refresh it???

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    SlowJuan FIRST-TIMER '22

    Finishing the Anchorage RunFest - Humpy’s Marathon brings my quest to complete a marathon in every state to a very satisfying conclusion. And if you're looking for an Alaska marathon, … MORE

    Finishing the Anchorage RunFest – Humpy’s Marathon brings my quest to complete a marathon in every state to a very satisfying conclusion. And if you’re looking for an Alaska marathon, then Humpy’s is the race you want to run! Be sure to let the Race Staff know in advance if Anchorage will be your 50th State and they’ll have a Certification of Completion waiting for you at the Finish. Just a nice, little personal touch that you won’t find elsewhere.
    About that, uh … awkward name. Pink salmon, or “humpback” salmon, are commonly called “humpies.” Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse is the marathon’s major sponsor and the Start and Finish location for the event. Even knowing that, expect some strange, concerned expressions when you share with folks, “I ran Humpy’s!”
    The staging area on Sunday morning in front of Humpy’s brought several pleasant “amenities.” Kaladi Brothers Coffee was dispensing hot java and Franz Bakeries was dealing fresh grilled cheese sandwiches to the huddled, milling runners. Can’t say I’ve ever experienced those pre-race traditions before, but I think they warrant a petition for adoption at other race venues. Comfort food before a marathon?!? Brilliant!
    The course is straight-forward, slightly rolling in elevation, and spectacularly beautiful. The first 15 miles are an out-and-back circuit on the Coastal Trail. The next 10 miles are an out-and-back leg on the Creek Trail, a greenbelt trail system wending its way through Anchorage. Expect to see panoramic views of the Cook Inlet along the Coastal Trail. Both courses traverse long stretches of coastal rainforest with thick stands of birch and spruce, the floor carpeted with devil’s club, verdant ferns and thick moss: Cool, green, dark, shady and quiet. BOLO for moose and bear. I didn’t spot either, but apparently a moose and her calf crossed the path behind me shortly after I passed Mile 7. (Drat! I just moosed ’em!)
    There’s one final grinder hill at Mile 25 to get back up to downtown from the trail system, but a nice, open Finish on 6th Street. I quickly found a great Finisher’s medal, my 50-State Completion certificate and even managed to locate the inventory of left-over grilled cheese sandwiches. What’s not to like?!?
    If you’re contemplating your own sojourn to run a marathon in every state, I would encourage you to consider the Anchorage RunFest for your “Big Finish.” You won’t be disappointed or regret the decision. And a few last words of encouragement:

    “A journey of 1,310 miles begins with a single step.”
    – Slow Juan –

    “I been thinkin’, you need to mellow slow.
    Takes time, you pick a place to go,
    . . . . and just keep truckin’ on.”
    -The Grateful Dead-

    Brew Review:
    3 words about the AK microbrew culture: Target. Rich. Environment. 49th State Brewing is the “flagship” brewery in Anchorage and not to be missed. It’s a three-story brewpub built on a hill overlooking the Cook Inlet with a biergarten on the roof. Check out Anchorage Brewing where your group can enjoy a cold beverage seated inside huge foeders that have been converted to private “nooks.” Midnight Sun has outstanding beers and an exceptional kitchen. Watch out for their most-excellent Stout that quietly weighs in with a subtle, numbing 13 ABV. If you venture beyond Anchorage, be sure to catch Denali Brewing in Talkeetna. The town is like a time warp back to the ‘60s where the word “hippie” still stands for something. Seward Brewing overlooks the Kenai Fjords. Girdwood Brewing (in Girdwood) has a great ski lodge vibe. Bearpaw River Brewing in Wasilla and Bleeding Heart Brewing in Palmer are solid choices for a good beer in great Alaska towns. And Odd Man Rush Brewing in Eagle River was a surprise favorite. It has a prevalent hockey theme in its well-appointed beer hall, complete with a retro hockey scoreboard. No penalty for icing here!

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    SlowJuan Sep 16, 2022 at 6:11am

    Thanks, Todd. I appreciate the kind words. And I hope you'll have the opportunity to check out some of those brew reviews on your Road to 50. Marathons & Micro-breweries… MORE

    Thanks, Todd. I appreciate the kind words. And I hope you'll have the opportunity to check out some of those brew reviews on your Road to 50. Marathons & Micro-breweries are a nice pairing. They just feel like a reward! LESS

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    todd17406 Sep 15, 2022 at 11:11am

    Congrats Sir! Running marathons and drinking craft beer are two of my life's passions, so I've certainly enjoyed reading your reviews! I just did my state #25, so I have… MORE

    Congrats Sir! Running marathons and drinking craft beer are two of my life's passions, so I've certainly enjoyed reading your reviews! I just did my state #25, so I have a ways to go. I agree with Mike that I hope you keep running and writing reviews, if not, I'll definitely miss them! LESS

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    M_Sohaskey Sep 12, 2022 at 8:23pm

    HA, well played on the icing reference 🖐🎤 and well done on state 50! 👏 A long strange trip for sure, and you've more than earned that snazzy sweatshirt you're… MORE

    HA, well played on the icing reference 🖐🎤 and well done on state 50! 👏 A long strange trip for sure, and you've more than earned that snazzy sweatshirt you're sporting. Glad you enjoyed both the course and the city, there's no better place to finish a quest like yours and especially for a suds connoisseur like yourself. Still bummed we couldn't join you in Anchorage this time, but proud to have joined you for several legs of the journey. And hopefully you've still got a few destination half marathons left in those legs, because we'd hate for you to become a stranger 'round these parts. Prost! 🍻 LESS

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    enigma20 FIRST-TIMER '22

    This is probably a lesser known race compared to The Mayor's Midnight Marathon. There were just over 200 finishers for the full marathon. I was second guessing my decision to … MORE

    This is probably a lesser known race compared to The Mayor’s Midnight Marathon. There were just over 200 finishers for the full marathon. I was second guessing my decision to do the full as opposed to the half, but I was glad I did.
    There really wasn’t much of a race expo, just a packet pickup. There were several times and days to pickup everything up though. Everyone was supper nice and helpful. The race had a charming small town feel to it.
    There parking on race morning was free and plentiful. I was probably less than a quarter of a mile from the start/finish.
    All of the race distances started at different time which helped keep the traffic down and the lines at the port-a-johns at the start small.
    Probably over 95% of the race was on a couple different trails. Both were an out and back. I enjoyed the course for most of the race. The overall elevation gain on my watch was 646 feet and there is a bit of a tough incline near the end.
    There were patches of spectators, but it was a bit sparse. There were only a few times where other runners were in the way on the fairly narrow trail, but it was mostly because they were not staying in their lane. No bear or moose sightings this year that I’m aware of.
    Since it was an out and back course, I went by many of the half runners. The pacers and other runners were very supportive. It was helpful in the later miles when I was feeling tired.
    The weather was great. It had rained all night, so it was humid, but it was cloudy, in the 50’s and no wind.
    The end of the race had a few food options, but not too many options. They did offer grilled cheese. The finisher medal and shirt were unique and pleasant. I actually really enjoyed this race. I loved Alaska and made the most of my trip by doing a tour of the Kenai Fjords and a trip to Denali.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    Moxietosh FIRST-TIMER '22

    Much smaller turn out than I expected, around 100 runners. Nice course lots to see if your not fast you can be running by yourself Nice destination run with lots … MORE

    Much smaller turn out than I expected, around 100 runners. Nice course lots to see if your not fast you can be running by yourself
    Nice destination run with lots of beautiful scenery and other activities to do. Went canoeing and salmon fishing.

    DIFFICULTY
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    SCENERY
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    My Media

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    ambrown.ak FIRST-TIMER '22

    Military mile is actually a separate run "the Mile". This run is - while open to anyone - is free for military (and you get a medal!), and creates a … MORE

    Military mile is actually a separate run “the Mile”. This run is – while open to anyone – is free for military (and you get a medal!), and creates a bit of sibling rivalry among the branches of service.
    Run is held down town around a park square.
    This year, there was a bit of disorganization with scheduling. Email confirmation gave one time for start while the website said something different. Likewise, a coworker got yet an even different email confirmation that had the same time as the site, but a different location.
    Thankfully my crew all made it to the right location (although not initially) and on time (since we just opted to show up to the earliest mentioned start). However, we did meet folks who missed it due to the email time.
    This was my first time doing the mile, so I can’t vouch for it being just a one time hiccup. However aside from that – if you actually made it to the run, it was well done.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    lancenull FIRST-TIMER '21

    Course is an out and back course along the coast and along the running/biking trails. We saw a baby bear cross the course (fortunately without mama.) Nice post race food … MORE

    Course is an out and back course along the coast and along the running/biking trails.
    We saw a baby bear cross the course (fortunately without mama.)
    Nice post race food and drink.
    Great course support – plenty of well stocked aid stations.
    Plenty of parking near the start / finish. Many hotels within walking distance.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
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    My Media

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    HalfSpeedQueen REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Anchorage in mid-August has perfect running weather. The on-course entertainment was as varied as always (Scottish bagpipes, anyone?). And the tree-lined path was a soothing relief from the hot, smoky … MORE

    Anchorage in mid-August has perfect running weather. The on-course entertainment was as varied as always (Scottish bagpipes, anyone?). And the tree-lined path was a soothing relief from the hot, smoky weather at home. I was not one of the lucky (unlucky?) ones who had their race interrupted by the bears or the moose, but I still enjoyed myself. Getting a new PR was just icing on the cake. Don’t wait to complete your 50 state challenge for this race, it’s worth repeating as often as possible.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    KathyP REPEAT RUNNER '21

    almost all on two bike paths through woods and parks. Some rolling hills but nothing too steep. Nice medal and LS shirt. I missed seeing the bear at mile 22(!) … MORE

    almost all on two bike paths through woods and parks. Some rolling hills but nothing too steep. Nice medal and LS shirt. I missed seeing the bear at mile 22(!) but saw a big tree stump with googly eyes in the woods along the trail. Aid stations were good but they did run out of grilled cheese sandwiches for us back of the packers.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
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    Plane, no pilots or crew... Plane and pilots, no crew... Plane, pilots left, still no crew... Delayed 1 hour... Delayed 3 hours 15 minutes later... Delayed 8 hours immediately following... … MORE

    Plane, no pilots or crew…
    Plane and pilots, no crew…
    Plane, pilots left, still no crew…
    Delayed 1 hour…
    Delayed 3 hours 15 minutes later…
    Delayed 8 hours immediately following…
    Lady: We can get you to Seattle but you have to add an additional stop (2 total). But then we’d have to figure out how to get you to Alaska from there.

    Me: ma’am, I need a refund. I’m home here in Texas. Y’all not going to get me stuck in another city.

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    My Report
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    thestudadam FIRST-TIMER '21

    This was my first time visiting the amazing state of Alaska, and wow what an experience. Do not be the person who flies in checks off this state and leaves, … MORE

    This was my first time visiting the amazing state of Alaska, and wow what an experience. Do not be the person who flies in checks off this state and leaves, the opportunity to get out and explore this state before or after the race should not be wasted. Waiting in line for the bathrooms I was chatting with a guy running the marathon in his 48th state, he flies in does his job and leaves. He treated it like a job and even described it as something he just wanted to get over with. I can’t imagine flying all the way to such an amazing state and leaving before I saw a thing. My wife and I flew in 10 days before the race and visited 3 National Parks and Drove all over the state doing hiking and sightseeing. I didn’t run at all in the 10 days leading up to the race (no chance to do laundry and who wants to stuff sweaty running clothes in their bag repeatedly for a week plus). Zero running and tons of strenuous hiking is hardly the ideal way to prepare for a race but traveling the country doing races can’t only be about the races, the travel experience should mean just as much. My advice if you can is to fly in, run the race then go see the state. I’m married to a teacher though so we had to hurry back for the start of the school year. On to the review…

    EXPO/PACKET PICK UP:
    I did not go to the expo for this race, I was too busy exploring the rest of the state. That said, I have never in all the races that I have run seen a race that provided more opportunities for your shirt/bib pickup than this race. The race was on Sunday and you could pick up your packet on Thursday, Friday or Saturday during windows of 4-7 hours. I was out traveling the state during this time and couldn’t make it so I emailed the race team and they said they were happy to accommodate me on the morning of the race for my bib and shirt pickup (Insider Info, they are actually willing to do this for everybody the lady who gave me my bib told me, but it would not be practical to do so for several thousand people, but it is good to know in case your schedule requires it). They also give the option to have a friend pick up your packet for you.

    Parking/Access: Anchorage is a very unique layout for a city with a pretty large population. Downtown doesn’t have many tall buildings and both street and parking lot parking were easily available just 2-3 blocks away. No real need to do public transit.

    T-Shirts/SWAG: The medal for this race was one that I liked. It isn’t the prettiest one on my medal rack but it does accomplish what I find most important about a race, it was sturdily made and depicts something unique about the state. It seems like most years in the past had a similar medal which included a picture of Alaska, this year had a jumping salmon (See Attached Picture). The shirt this year was a nice blue tech shirt (See Attached Picture), it has a giant bear head as part of a painting looking over a lake/mountain, again just look at the picture. Each shirt also states the distance you ran instead of just an event logo that lists every distance which is a bit unique. Is it large, quirky, over the top and not exactly a wear everyday shirt? Yes, is it truly unique and in line with the spirit/essence of the state it represents? Also Yes. And in case you think it is still weird, do a quick google search of some past years, I would say this years shirt is pretty tame by comparison.

    Aid Stations: The aid stations were well stocked and spaced every 1.5-2 miles (it is an out and back course on a park trail so you hit the same stations in each direction), they all had Gatorade and water. Nobody was handing out any energy gels or chews but I carry my own so this was a non issue. I didn’t hear anything about things running out at any time during the race. I was near the front so I was never really in a group, and most stations only had 3-5 people which is sufficient but may have caused an issue or two when the big pace groups came through but the race said ahead of time that volunteers were really tough to come by this year due to covid so I give the volunteers who were there an A+ for doing the job, being really clear about who had water or Gatorade, and being happy cheerleaders for each runner who came through.

    Course Scenery/Elevation Difficulty: The course is pretty flat over 90% of the course, as a true out and back every hill you go up you will come down and vice versa. You mostly follow a river on a greenbelt path through a park with a decent hill right at the turnaround point and another between .5-.2 miles from the finish, it won’t seem like much of a hill at the start, but a 50ft climb over a quarter mile will feel like a mountain so close to the finish. Overall though minor difficulty with little bumps or bridges over streams along the way. As for the scenery you get some views of the ocean and surrounding mountains during the first 1.5 and last 1.5 miles before running through a park along a path the rest of the time. It is pretty, it is calm, it is green, tree covered and shaded but not exactly breathtaking (but you will get that everywhere else in the state during you travels so no big deal). You might see “scenery” of a different kind though, while I didn’t see them runners posted pictures of a black bear on the half marathon course around mile 4 and a mother moose with her calf on the 49k course so keep aware of your surroundings.

    Weather: Since 2008 the race day weather has been between 53 and 63 degrees every year except one, when it was like 67. Top notch running weather, it is usually always dry and it was this year too. It did rain in the afternoon so If you were a really slow Marathoner or Ultra runner you maybe got a little wet but it doesn’t downpour in this state.

    Race Management: This Race was very well run overall. I found their emails and Facebook Page to be the best source of information. Oddly the Skinnyraven page (the sponsor) had information that was outdated in terms of maps and time. Make sure you use the Anchorage Runfest site for everything and make sure your read their emails. They accomodated me needing to pick up my packet the day of and had a very fun announcer at the start talking to people and having fun. The half was the biggest race but only had 631 people (a down a bit from a normal year). They had all the pace setters get in the corral first (Half 10 minute Incriments 1:40-3:00) (Full 15 minute incriments 3:30-5:30). After the pace people were in place they had people enter the start area and everybody went to their correct area. I ended up running a 1:31 and I had tons of room up front with the other fast people and the elites. I have never been at a race where I didn’t feel crowded at the start. I think this has a lot to do with how many people travel for this race. Supposedly over half of all entrants each year are from out of state which means they know race etiquette. They line up correctly, they communicate when passing, and they know how to use aid stations. The most educated crowd I have run with. They also have a ton of events and options they include a “Military Mile” on Saturday, a 5k, Half Marathon, Marathon, Marathon Relay and 49k Ultra (a 49k you say, that is weird, why not 50k like normal, well Alaska is the 49th State). Tons of options for everybody. They even had a half marathon walking or just need extra time option. Races went off in 15 minute increments. Walkers @ 8:00am, Marathon & Ultra @ 8:30am, Half Marathon 8:45am, 5k 9:00am. We were all on the course at the same time and I was definitely running upstream on the way back to the finish but people kept to the side without me needing to say anything and the 5k runners were all done before I got back to the finish although the winners may have seen a tiny bit of traffic. Other things that were unique and very nice: shirt swap the morning of the race if the one you picked up at the EXPO didn’t fit, free showers at the Gym near the finish if you show your bib, especially nice if you are flying out the same day and already had to check out of your hotel before hand. Also free race Photos.

    Overall I would say this race is a great way to check Alaska off your 50 state list. It is a well run race that feels similar in a lot of ways to races you would see in other states, it just happens to be run in a state that is unlike any other.

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    pleegenes Feb 03, 2022 at 1:07pm

    Very nice, thorough review.

    Very nice, thorough review.

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    DisneyRunner FIRST-TIMER '19

    I really enjoyed the Anchorage marathon. The event was smoothly executed and volunteers were friendly. There was not much swag other than the shirt, but the medal was nice. The … MORE

    I really enjoyed the Anchorage marathon. The event was smoothly executed and volunteers were friendly. There was not much swag other than the shirt, but the medal was nice. The course was not too hard, however it was EXTREMELY windy during my race and during one portion of the course, it was like running through a sandstorm. Only about a half mile at the beginning and then at the end was on roads. The rest was on paved trails through parks. I wish there had been more port-a-potties on the course. The ones that were there were few and far between. Aid stations had water and Gatorade. A few had fruit, but I wish there had been more. But overall, it is a good race, and if you are trying to run in all 50 states, you definitely won’t regret signing up for this one.

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    mindrun41 FIRST-TIMER '19

    This race was not as nice as I was hoping it would be. The out-and-back course made traffic an issue after the first turnaround because of both the marathon and … MORE

    This race was not as nice as I was hoping it would be. The out-and-back course made traffic an issue after the first turnaround because of both the marathon and half-marathon. With an event of this size and a winding course, this becomes problematic.
    Starting a marathon walk before the run also makes no sense. The course itself is nice and has a nice view of the coastline and goes through wooded areas. It is also very flat aside from an incline at the end.

    Unfortunately, the benefits of the easy course were nullified by poor course marking and traffic. I had to go off-track to avoid some runners who were just listening to music and not paying attention.

    Having run the Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon, I recommend that race over this one, despite the more difficult course. It is better organized and has better scenery.

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    jessas REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This is a great race. They do have an option early start for slower paces and there is some overlap on the course between the half and the full, which … MORE

    This is a great race. They do have an option early start for slower paces and there is some overlap on the course between the half and the full, which means if you start in the main wave you end up passing walkers throughout the race – this is not really a big deal as it is a small race and it does not get too crowded, as long as the groups are not walking 3 across (which some do). The course is pretty quick, as long as you don’t get stopped by wildlife. Not much in the terms of fanfare, but family and friends can drive or bike to multiple viewing spots which is very nice. Be prepared for a pretty quiet race, since the runners spread out quickly and there is not much going on on the sidelines. They had grilled cheese at the finish in 2018 and that really hit the spot!

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    LHAMPT20 FIRST-TIMER '18

    I loved this race. I traveled about 8 hours (flight time) for this race and it was well worth it to get Alaska checked off. The people in Anchorage were … MORE

    I loved this race. I traveled about 8 hours (flight time) for this race and it was well worth it to get Alaska checked off. The people in Anchorage were very friendly. Everything about the race was easy, registration, packet pick up etc. The city was easy to get around in and very walk-able from most hotels. The course was great and a lot of support. It never seemed crowded even with multiple races going on. I would do it again if I were in the area.

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    HalfSpeedQueen FIRST-TIMER '18

    In a year of great races, the Anchorage RunFest has hit the top of the list on all counts. Visiting Alaska is a great perk, but the race was so … MORE

    In a year of great races, the Anchorage RunFest has hit the top of the list on all counts. Visiting Alaska is a great perk, but the race was so well-produced that I would have had the same opinion no matter where it was held.

    1. The race communications were frequent, helpful, and inspirational. There were stories of various race participants, enabling a sense of connection before the plane touched down. Logistics were also communicated on a regular basis.

    2. The bib pick-up and expo furthered the sense of connection. Local merchants and organizations had donated a variety of prizes that filled multiple tables. By visiting each vendor, racers were able to enter into raffles for the prizes. The vendors (including Jeff Galloway himself) took the time to talk to each participant, making me feel welcome. It was the first expo that I truly enjoyed.

    3. The spaghetti dinner included a talk by Jeff Galloway where he gave his insights, as well as answered questions from the audience. It was motivational and made me wish I had signed up for his clinic later that day.

    4. The race itself was under rainy, cool conditions. The path took us past the water and under the cover of green trees and beautiful parks. The course was fairly easy with the only unpleasant part being the hill at the 13-mile mark, immediately before the finish line. There was even a report from a marathon runner of seeing a moose cross the path during the race! Support was generous with many locals showing up along the path to cheer us on. They even had a highly diverse musical selection to encourage us – bagpipers, guitar-player, a drum group and more.

    5. The shirt and medal were beautiful and unique, featuring a color palette that resembled the northern lights.

    6. My only negative comment was that the end of the race did not have many food options for the hungry runner. There were free grilled cheese sandwich halves (which tasted good on a rainy day). But as an out-of-towner, I would have liked a food truck or two so that I could purchase lunch before returning to my hotel. Having seen many food trucks in the area, I think this would be the perfect opportunity for them to make some money and allow runners to replenish their calories.

    Overall, I would highly recommend this race to anyone wanting to enjoy a unique destination with local support and strong sense of inclusion for all runners. I can’t wait to return…maybe to run the marathon next time 🙂

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    DonnaS FIRST-TIMER '18

    The vast majority of the race was on greenways, which is fine, but since I run all the time at home on greenways, I didn't find the course too terribly … MORE

    The vast majority of the race was on greenways, which is fine, but since I run all the time at home on greenways, I didn’t find the course too terribly unique. Being an out and back course, the downhill at the start was great, but running uphill at the finish was not fun. The race was well-organized but this year was the last year for the race director. Hearing Bart Yasso and Jeff Galloway speak at the pasta lunch was great. The shirt and medal are seriously my favorites from any of the around 50 races I’ve run. Post-race showers at the nearby hotel fitness center was a nice perk since I had to check out of my hotel before I finished running.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5

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    Ymer FIRST-TIMER '16

    The race included a 49 k, full marathon, half marathon and 5 k. They did a great job staging the various races so the course was not overcrowded. The course … MORE

    The race included a 49 k, full marathon, half marathon and 5 k. They did a great job staging the various races so the course was not overcrowded. The course was on a paved trail and lots of support slong the way.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    RunnerMeg FIRST-TIMER '14

    I loved Moose's Tooth Marathon/Big Wild Life Runs (now called Anchorage RunFest). To be fair, I did hear that they shorted their marathon course last year. This review is strictly … MORE

    I loved Moose’s Tooth Marathon/Big Wild Life Runs (now called Anchorage RunFest). To be fair, I did hear that they shorted their marathon course last year. This review is strictly for 2014 which, in my view, was flawless.

    Alaska is a pretty long way away unless you live in the PNW, so let me just preface this review by saying that my husband and I made a little vacation out this one in Kachemak Bay. If you can spend some time up there, DO!

    Back to the race. Sheraton Anchorage was a great spot, walking distance to start, finish, and things to do in the area (didn’t rent a car but have a friend up there who was able to show me the sights outside of downtown – go blueberry picking!!). Make sure you get a slice at Moose’s Tooth pizzeria and if you have the time or the weather is bad, watch a movie at Bear’s Tooth pub.

    Expo: Nicely done, smaller, obviously, because it’s a smaller race. Got my shirt and bib then walked around Anchorage a bit more. The shirt was long-sleeve and a nice color, with very cool graphics. One of my favorites that didn’t go into the make-into-a-quilt-bag.

    Race: It was a little cool and drizzly but actually pretty pleasant on race day. It’s a very low-key race so I just walked down to the start and talked to some fellow runners before we bunched up for the start. The course itself is nice; it had beautiful scenery and ran along pleasant paths by the coast and through some parks. There were some hills but nothing bad. The finish is back downtown at the starting area. It was a nice medal, shaped like Alaska. I ended up winning my age group and got a mug, ribbon, and engraved key chain as well.

    Alaska is one of my favorite states that I’ve visited and run in so far. The scenery is tough to beat and there’s a ton you can do if you can give yourself the time to stay and explore. The race is low-key but well-run with nice swag. If you’re running all 50 states and need Alaska still, sign and up and enjoy this event to the fullest.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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