It has been a warm spring and Alaskans are beginning to soak up the midnight sun. It’s the time of year where people explore the terrain by foot as dozens of races happen around the state during the summer months. Jon Bittner, deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, visited Daybreak Tuesday with a full roundup of upcoming races.


The Icy Strait Point Challenge is a new race in Hoonah that takes racers from sea level up 8.5 miles to the top of White Alice Mountain. Once you make it up to the top, you get to take a zip line down to the base of the mountain.


The Klondike Road Relay has a historical flavor. Starting Sept. 11, racers run 175 kilometers through the night from Skagway all the way to White Horse. Teams of 4 to 10 people break up the run.


Also coming up this summer is the Big Wild Life Runs — two days worth of runs Aug. 15 and 16. It includes everything from a 2K for kids to an ultra marathon for serious runners and is part of Anchorage’s centennial celebration.


The longstanding Equinox Marathon runs Saturday, Sept. 19 in Fairbanks. The race includes a 40-mile ultra marathon, a marathon and a marathon relay that takes runners up and around Ester Dome.


For those who prefer not to run competitively, there are other runs across the state. In Juneau around the Mendenhall Glacier, there are fantastic trails for family hiking.


Last but not least is Denali National Park and Preserve. The Savage Alpine Trail opened at the end of 2013 and has been years in the making. The trail starts in the forest and goes up to the tundra area where on a clear day you can see Mount McKinley.


For more information on hiking and foot races, click here.



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