The lycra legions are arriving.
Nearly 1,400 runners are expected in Skagway tonight for the start of the 23rd annual Klondike Trail of 98 International Road Relay.
The race starting line is under the banner at Second and Broadway. The first teams hit the road at 6 p.m. Skagway time, and there are subsequent starts every half-hour until 11 p.m., when the elite teams take off into the dark.
Of the 139 teams signed up for the event, four are from Skagway: Team 113, WP&YR Highballers; Team 121, Top Gun; Team 124, Dead Salmon Heads; and Team 138, SNAFU. Most are leaving at 7 p.m. local time.
Skagway is well-represented but the biggest contingent is from Whitehorse, with 55 teams. Juneau has 30, Anchorage 28, Douglas 6, Sitka 4, Eagle River 2, and one each from Atlin, Dillingham, Fairbanks, Fort Nelson, Gustavus, Haines, Kamloops, Ketchikan, Klawock, Mayo, Petersburg, Vancouver, and Minnetonka, Minnesota.
There are some unusual team names, but the most watched unit will probably be Legalize Streaking from Eagle River.
In conjunction with the event, there will be a spaghetti feed at the Elks sponsored by the sophomore class from 5 to 7 p.m.
Veteran Haines runner and coach Heather Lende will be signing copies of her new book. If You Lived Here, Id Know Your Name, at the Skaguay News Depot between 3 and 5 p.m. A member of the Lady Gudivas from Juneau last year, Lende will be sitting this relay out while on the mend from being run over by a truck last spring. She made the trip over with her Haines cross-country team and to cheer on her husband Chip in the relay. JB
Skagways Candi Ketterman leads two Haines runners over a bridge on the Sitka course.
Klas Stolpe, Petersburg Pilot
Dyea start for cross-country races today
Skagway High will host seven teams from around Southeast Alaska for cross-country races this afternoon.
The Dyea Road course is different than in past years. Instead of starting at the AB Mountain trailhead and running to Long Bay and back, this years event will begin and end at the Dyea campground.
Skagway coach Gary Trozzo said the kids will run toward town for 1.55 miles and then turn around.
What I like about it is you have hills at the very beginning and very end, and theres winding and flat stretches, Trozzo said. The turnaround is on a steady incline going up and coming back down.
The girls race begins at 12:15 p.m. and the boys race follows at 1 p.m.
The three varsity Skagway boy runners and eight varsity girls have been practicing on the course. Trozzo said they have turned in decent times, and he hopes they have their best times Friday.
Skagway senior Candi Ketterman is the Panthers biggest threat. She placed 20th overall in a race against large and small schools in Sitka Aug. 27, but an injury sidelined her last Saturday in Juneau. Trozzo said she had turned to wearing spikes but they made her calves hurt. They determined it would be best to rest her until this weekend.
Shes doing better now, Trozzo said. She has a legitimate shot at making State for the third straight year.
In small schools girls competition, Haines is the team to beat, but Skagway has an outside shot at catching Petersburg, Trozzo said. They all will have to run very well, he said. But Ive seen it happen before.
Also running for the girls are Cierra Hahn, Ali Doland, Michelle Harris, Brandy Wilson, Liana Stegall, Teslyn Korsmo, and Sierra Moran.
Petersburg wont be making the trip here due to a ferry conflict, but Skagway will see small school competition from Haines, Yakutat, Gustavus, Angoon, and Mt. Edgecumbe. Also coming will be large schools Juneau and Sitka.
Jake Henricksen, Tom Littlefield and Lachlan Dennis are running for the Skagway boys this weekend. Their times have been toward the back of the pack, but all three are making vast improvements, Trozzo said.
Also running in the varsity pack this weekend are several junior high kids from Skagway. Trozzo is anxious to get some of them up to the varsity level next year, as their times have been strong.
If we had used the J-high times in Sitka, we would have been just 10 points behind Haines, he said.
Look for girls Paige Hahn, Amanda Jensen, Kaitlyn Surdyk, and Kaylie ODaniel, along with boys Mickey Wilson and Quinn Weber in the field today, and when they compete in a junior high meet in Juneau Sept. 14
The varsity will take a break after todays meet and rest up for the regionals in Ketchikan on Sept. 24.
Sitka meet times: Boys- Trevor VanHouten 25:14, Tom Littlefield 25:32, Lachlan Dennis 26:56; Girls- Candi Ketterman 23:10, Ali Doland 25:33, Brandy Wilson 25:41, Michelle Harris 27:00, Sierra Moran 27:30, Liana Stegall 28:10, Teslyn Korsmo 28:15, Cierra Hahn DNF.
Tom Littlefield presses on to the finish line in Sitka.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Krueger
Juneau meet times: Boys- Tom Littlefield 26:22, Lachlan Dennis 27:10, Jake Henricksen 28:12; Girls- Cierra Hahn 25:52, Ali Doland 25:57, Michelle Harris 26:44, Brandy Wilson 27:17, Liana Stegall 28:54, Teslyn Korsmo 29:35, Sierra Moran 30:38.
Doland girls rack up more show ribbons
Skagway riders Ali and Elise Doland added to their ribbon haul this summer with recent victories at horse shows in Dawson Creek, B.C. and Dawson City, Yukon.
Their mother, Jauna Doland, said she told the girls to expect more competition than at a July show in Whitehorse, where they both won first place ribbons.
We had so much fun, Jauna said of the Aug. 13-14 Dawson Creek show . I told them not to be disappointed if they did not place as high as Whitehorse, but both girls were in the ribbons, and Ali brought in a first place against some really good riders. We were very excited.
The following weekend, they headed all the way back up to Dawson City. They are so hospitable, Jauna said. And the girls placed in every class.
Jauna joined the fun with a costumed ride to music.
She dressed up as Shaggy and her horse donned sneakers as Scooby Doo, while Ali rode in a pink outfit e to Im a Quarter Horse Rider and Elise was sequined for Everything that Glitters is not Gold.