Overall Rating
Overall Rating (11 Reviews)
4.2
(11 Ratings)(11 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.6
SCENERY
4.1
PRODUCTION
4.4
SWAG
4.1
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
Local Weather (Aug 21):
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H (°F) 63 71 68 57 56
L (°F) 53 56 44 54 49
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Recent reviews

    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
    SWAG
    4

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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.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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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.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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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.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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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.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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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.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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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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    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
    My Media

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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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