This moose has been showing up in the Tutshi River valley this summer. Alas, it will be dark when runners pass this section on Leg 4 tonight. Andrew Cremata
Eight local teams in Klondike Road Relay tonight
By JEFF BRADY
As many as 136 teams of runners and walkers are due to start the annual Klondike Trail of ’98 International Road Relay tonight and carry on through the wee hours of the morning, into the Yukon and to the finish line at Rotary Peace Park in Whitehorse.
Weather should be good, and, with any luck, runners will see northern lights and the start of fall colors in the Yukon.
The 27th annual road relay will have teams from as far away as Kamloops, BC, and as close as your local train, bus, pub, or ice cream store.
Skagway has seven teams signed up:
• Team SNAFU (no number listed at press time), will celebrate its 10th year in the relay, said captain Beth Smith of the Pizza Station. They will be one of the first teams heading out at 6 p.m. local time from the 2nd and Broadway starting line, and will compete in the huge mixed division.
• WP&YR Highballers (72), will start with the next group at 6:30 p.m. They are captained again by engineer Jeremy Simmons, and are sure to hear an extra long whistle from the steam engine at their start. They are also running in the mixed division.
• Rocky Road Runners (77), is a new Skagway team named for one of the favorites at the Kone Kompany, the team sponsor in the corporate division. Mindy Miller is team captain, and has a number of local scoops on her roster. They start at 7:30 p.m.
• Alaska Coach Tours (40), a team of Juneau and Skagway tour drivers, will start at 8 p.m. They are captained by Brenna Asper-Smith. No doubt they will have a nice bus to kick back in when not pounding the pavement in the middle of the night. They also are a corporate entry.
• Skagway Brewing Co. (53) will be the last local team to leave Skagway at 8:30 p.m. Captain Mike Healy had just four names on his roster on the KRR website, so hopefully he was able to recruit more in the bar to run for his team’s corporate entry.
Also competing for Skagway are two teams of four walkers each who will start from Carcross at 3 a.m. The Skagway Windwalkers (121) and Walk Won’t Run (129) are captained by local math teacher Dottie Demark, who reportedly calculates all their times in her head. As president of the Skagway Arts Council, she also is making sure everyone is well-fed: the annual Spaghetti Feed fund-raiser goes from noon to 9 p.m. at the Elks. See details on page 4.
The last and fastest teams leave Skagway at 11 p.m. tonight, so watch out for them whizzing by on the road. With the staggered starting times, all teams should arrive in Whitehorse between 1 and 3 p.m. Yukon time.
Race results usually go up pretty fast, and will be posted on the KRR website: www.klondikeroadrelay.com . Watch for a photo feature in the Sept. 25 Skagway News.
UPDATE: A third walking team was added at press time, and they all changed their names. The walkers got soleful and are now called: Soled Out, Art Sole, and Gotta Have Sole.
Skagway hosts XC meet today
Injuries slowed Panthers at Sitka
By JEFF BRADY
High school cross-country runners from around Southeast will hit the trails and a little pavement this afternoon for the Skagway Invitational. The girls’ race begins at 1 p.m. and the boys race starts at 1:45 p.m.
Starting line is the Gold Rush Cemetery and teams will run down the dirt road to Alaska Street and all the way to the Yakutania Point footbridge, where they will hit the trail up to the Dyea Road and finish at the overlook, a distance of 3.1 miles.
The Skagway team is hoping for a better race than its first outing in Sitka on Aug. 29. Defending Southeast 1A-2A-3A champ Mickey Wilson finished second among the small school racers, and teammate Quinn Weber was third. They were beaten by Sitka’s Niko Friedman.
In the girl’s race, Skagway’s Amanda Jensen finished fourth in her division behind three Sitka runners.
“Mickey, Quinn and Amanda are coming off injuries,” said coach Kent Fielding, adding that it was at Sitka’s home meet. “It’ll be different when they come to Skagway.”
Skagway did not have a complete team in either race. In Sitka, Logan Weber was 10th among small school runners, and Danny Moore was 17th. Ian Klupar did not have enough practices in, but adding him should help the scoring today. The boys have a good shot at finishing second.
Rori Leaverton also will have enough practices in as she strives for a top 10 finish. Also competing for the girls are Elise Doland and Kayla Henricksen.
Teams expected to be in Skagway include Haines, Juneau-Douglas, Thunder Bay (new Juneau high school), Sitka, Mt. Edgecumbe, and Yakutat.
Box of Rocks Friday
The annual Box of Rocks “race” to Upper Dewey Lake will be held on Friday, Sept. 18, the first no-ship day of the fall.
Runners and hikers can start on their own, timing themselves to the finish line at the Upper Lake cabin.
You need to arrive by 12 noon to be able to catch a helicopter ride down. Cost for the ride is $30 and prior arrangements need to be made with TEMSCO.
Or you can go down the way you came up.
Skagway Hill Climb results
Anchorage’s Daniel Folmar finished with the top time at the Skagway Hill Climb at the end of August, beating Whitehorse cycler and former record holder Ian Parker by 10 seconds. Folmar’s time was 53:30, a personal best.
Whitehorse cycler Mike McCann, president of the VeloNorth Cycling Club, said he thought Folmar might have a shot at setting a new mark, however the weather conditions weren’t favorable. Riders had to deal with rainy conditions and fog that covered the last seven-km of the hill to the summit.
Complete results • Skagway Hill Climb:
1. 53:30: Daniel Folmar (PB)
2. 53:40: Ian Parker
3. 57:24: Mike McCann (PB)
4. 59:22: Robert Sowers
5. 61:34: Joel Macht
6. 62:42: Jerome McIntyre
7. 65:15: Kellen Kjera (PB)
8. 64:32: Janice Sheufelt
9. 77:24: Tim Arnholtz (PB)
(PB) = Personal Best – Whse. Star
Autumn Classic paddling race
The annual end-of-season paddling race in the Yukon, the Autumn Classic, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19 on the McClintock River. Starting time is 12 noon Yukon time.
From Skagway, drive to the Alaska Highway, take a right, and head toward Marsh Lake. The McClintock put-in is after the turn to Swan Haven, just before the small bridge.
From under the bridge, paddlers head 5 kilometers upstream, where they grab some red flagging on the shore (to prove they made it that far), and then head back. It’s a short, but intense little race. No entry fee, no prizes, just a fun autumnal paddle and bragging rights.