Whether you’re running or cheering on the participants, marathons are always fun, and this summertime race through Anchorage is the biggest marathon in Alaska. The event, which happens during the Summer Solstice in June, has been a tradition for the past 40 years and is something everyone looks forward to.
It’s usually ideal marathon weather, between 55 and 70 degrees, which is perfect for the 4,000 runners who fly in from all 50 states and some 15 countries. Racers will see the Coastal Trail, run a little through downtown, and end at the iconic and centrally located Delaney Park Strip, where there’s a very festive atmosphere. Some marathoners are elite runners, as this is a U.S. Track & Field approved race (and there are cash prizes for any broken records), while others get dressed up in crazy costumes. On race day, there’s also there’s a marathon relay, a half marathon, a 4-mile race, and a 2-mile youth race.
The race attracts thousands of energized spectators as well, and the Solstice is a great time to visit Alaska—there are more than 19 hours of daylight, and a lot of other events are happening at the same time, like the Downtown Summer Solstice Festival and the Spenard Jazz Fest (which lasts for 3 weeks).
- Marathon: 26.2 miles, begins at Bartlett High School, ends at Delaney Park Strip.
- Marathon Relay: 26.2 miles with 4 relay members. Same course as the marathon. Relay exchanges are at miles 7.1, 15, and 21.
- Half-Marathon: 13.1 miles, begins and ends at Delaney Park Strip, via the Coastal Trail and Westchester Lagoon. Route follows a wooded path for half a mile from a road back to the Coastal Trail.
- 4 miler: 4 miles, along the Coastal Trail and to Westchester Lagoon.
- Youth Cup: 1.6 miles, follows same course as the 4 miler, but turns around at Westchester Lagoon.