Tuesdays are a popular night for runners in Anchorage.

Every Tuesday throughout the year there are the Tuesday pub runs in downtown Anchorage. Then, during the fall months, the Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department gets in on the running excitement with their Tuesday Night Race Series.

“This is our 47th year of Tuesday Night Runs and it’s been a program conducted by Anchorage Parks & Rec all those years and it’s great fun. It’s grown from 10, 15, 25 people to now we average 800 to 1,000 a week and it’s a great fun family event,” said Anchorage Parks and Rec programmer Margaret Timmerman.

To help make this an event for everyone they have three different races set up, ranging in distances of one to 12 kilometers. You get to choose which one you want based on how much you want to challenge yourself.

“Lightning League people can expect a lot of hills, a lot of challenging terrain. Farm League we try and keep mostly on wider trails, more familiar trails. And Munchkins are generally stroller friendly,” Timmerman said.

To keep things exciting from week to week, a different park is chosen so runners can get to know the parks and trails in our great city.

“I like the trail running cause it kind of keeps you on your feet,” said runner Jeff Chen.

They also keep the course a secret leading up to the race. So don’t expect to find a course map prior to the run.

“It’s a big surprise. We’ll tell people what the distance is, but we have guest course setters and they have earned reputations for being really tough,” Timmerman said.

The challenge and diversity of the courses keep runners coming back year after year.

“We were new to Anchorage last year and so this was a great way to get out and see some new trails and we just loved it,” said Holly Doideg of herself and fellow runner David Lee. “We thought it was great. We love the setup. We love that it’s new every week, so we decided to come for a second year.”

If you haven’t tried the races yet there are still a few more weeks to get out and enjoy the runs and explore Anchorage’s parks before the snow flies.

“It kind of motivates you to get out there every week,” Chen said. “I know sometimes this is like my only exercise of the week. It’s great to have at least this.”

The Tuesday Night Race Series has three more races before they come to an end for the season. The next race is Tuesday, Oct. 14 at Service High School at 6:30 p.m.

Here is the website with all the details: http://www.muni.org/Departments/parks/Pages/TuesdayNightRaces.aspx

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