Runners wait for the start of the third annual Skagway Marathon on Saturday. One hundred and eleven runners participated.

Rookie takes the lead and wins the Skagway Marathon

Story and Photos by Elise Giordano

 David Golden crossed the finish line, wearing blue shorts and a sweaty yellow t-shirt, emblazoned with the slogan, “Holy Cow!”
Onlookers cheered and congratulated him as he paced around, catching his breath and letting it all soak it.
Golden had won the Skagway Marathon with a time of 3:29:20.
He had never participated in a marathon and had only been preparing for three weeks.
“Holy Cow!” is right.
Golden, who is from Virginia, is an intern with the National Park Service this summer.
The third annual Skagway Marathon was held at the Skagway Ferry Terminal on Saturday morning.
Second place in the men’s half marathon was awarded to Dallas Jamme, a summer resident of Skagway, with a time of 3:36:55 and Alex Angstadt of Skagway came in third with a time of 3:37:24.
At the West Creek Road turn, the halfway point, Angstadt was leading at 1:40, Golden was seven minutes behind at 1:47 and Dallas was third at 1:48.
To win the race, Golden had to make up seven minutes.
Started by Buckwheat Donahue, the marathon is known to be “one of the hardest and most-rewarding” marathons in North America, covering 26.2 miles of climbing hills through the Southeast Alaskan coastline.
One hundred and eleven runners signed up for the race – 30 percent more than last year.
Of those who started, 89 were half marathon runners and 22 were full marathon runners. Fourteen runners did not participate.

Marathon winner David Golden runs alongside Long Bay. The Skagway Marathon was Golden’s first. He is now preparing for a 50-mile ultra-marathon in Pennsylvania.

Jane Lanford, 58, a resident of Fairbanks, won first place in the women’s full marathon, with a time of 3:46:33.
Lanford drove from Fairbanks to Skagway with friend and half marathon runner, Robbin Garber-Slaght.
Lanford hopes to participate in all marathons within Alaska and has already completed 67.
She said the Skagway Marathon is now one of her favorites.
Second place in the women’s full marathon went to Sarah Thomas, summer resident of Skagway, with a time of 4:01:08 and third place went to Jen King of Whitehorse with a time of 4:18:49.
“Skagway proved once again it punches far more than its weight,” Whitehorse resident, Tom Ullyett said.
Ullyett won the men’s half-marathon with a time of 1:31:14, with friend Maura Sullivan of Whitehorse on his tail, finishing with a time of 1:31:26, winning first place in the women’s half-marathon.
Second place in the men’s half marathon went to Jonathan Cromwell of Skagway with a time of 1:33:36 and third place went to Matt Ordish of Whitehorse with a time of 1:34:47.
Second place in the women’s half marathon went to Keltie Hollingdale of Haines with a time of 1:44:42 and third place went to Larra Daley of Whitehorse with a time of 1:43:02.
Bonnie Love of Whitehorse took first place in the walking half marathon with a time of 2:31:13.
“For a road course, it’s very tough,” Ullyett said. “It’s as scenic as North America can provide.”
Duff’s Outfitters, RadioShack, the Skagway Brew Company, the Church of Jesus Christ LDS, the Skagway CVB, and Linda Van Houten made the marathon possible, with food donated by The Station and White Pass.

Jeff Thielbar nears the finish line after finishing the half marathon Saturday.

See Skagway Marathon Results


Skagway cycling teams ready to hit the road

Six Skagway teams will be participating in the 21st Annual Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay on Saturday, June 15.
The 148.1-mile race traverses over flats, steep descents and long climbs, starting at Haines Junction, Yukon and ending in Haines, Alaska.
Sofa King Slows and Nahku Bay will be representing Skagway with a team of three to four people.
Totally Tubular will be the sole women’s team with five to eight members participating.
Organic Candy will be Skagway’s sole one-man team.
Sockeye Cruisers will be a mixed five to eight person team and Soft & Supple will be a men’s five to eight person team.
Spencer Morgan is riding solo for the second year in a row.
“Hopefully this year will have better weather,” Morgan said.
Morgan has prepared by spin cycling on a stationary bike in the winter and by taking as many long bike rides as possible.
He won the “King of the Hill” award during last month’s Skagway Hill Climb from Dyea to the summit in a time of 56:55. The low-key event, sponsored by U Kon Echelon, was held on May 20 and drew 11 cyclists. Morgan was the only Alaskan.
Morgan said he is excited about this year’s KCIBR, but feels like he was in better shape last year.
“I’m hoping to finish it this year,” Morgan said.
He said it’s one of his favorite weekends of the year.
“It gives you a chance to see roads outside of Skagway,” he said.
Results will be posted on the event website:, and watch for story and photos in the June 28 issue.