Monday, June 26, 2006
GAMM Report: LONG
June 18-25: The Great Alaskan Maritime Marathon
It's hard to know where to start, so pull up a seat. This could take some time.
The "event" was the inaugural Great Alaskan Maritime Marathon. It was a stage race in which the participants completed a marathon during the week by running on the ship and in each port. It was "staged" off the ms Westerdam of the Holland America line and was the first "marathon" run off a cruise ship.
Sunday, June 18. Packet Pick up and cocktail party.
The participants received their race numbers, fleece vests, technical shirts, and instructions for the race. The structure was that they ran a 1 mile "prologue" time trial on the treadmill to establish their "base" pace. The winner would be the one who could come closest to maintaining that pace through the 26.2 miles. The "races" were a 2 mile predict-your-time deck run, a half marathon in Juneau, a 5 mile run in Sitka, and a 10K trail run in Ketchikan.
Monday, June 19. At Sea: Prologue time trial.
Running a mile on the treadmill proved to be one of the most challenging tasks of the week. We were on the open sea and the ship was "rocking and rolling" enough to make things interesting. Everyone got through it fine, including one woman who ran it in her ROBE because the airlines had lost her luggage and the ship hadn't return her laundry.
Tuesday, June 20. 2 mile Predict-Your-Time and the Hubbard Glacier
The ship was so big that it was only three times around the Promenade deck to the mile. The participants "predicted" how long it would take them and then ran without their watches.
Wednesday, June 21. Juneau 1/2 Marathon
We bused over the Douglass Island for the 1/2 marathon. The excitement level was REALLY high since it was the first "land" run in 3 days. The weather was perfect and the runners took off. As they were running IN to the harbor, a humpback whale was making it's way OUT. Imagine watching a whale while you are running. Not many races offer that.
The Alaskan Brewery supplied us with beer for the finish line and we all enjoyed a perfect day.
Thursday, June 22. Sitka 5 miler
The local runners met us at the dock and led us out on a 5 miler that included a run across the bridge and 2 loops inside of the totem park. It was rainy and cool and made for an "authentic" Alaskan run.
Friday, June 23. Ketchikan Trail 10K
We bused out to the Ward Lake area where the Ketchikan Running Club has set out an absolutely spectacular trail run. The participants weren't' allowed to use their watches or GPS units which meant "running how you feel for as long as you can". The scenery was stunning from start to finish.
Saturday, June 24. Victoria International Fun Run
Rob Reed of the Frontrunner's store in Victoria - and a bunch of his runners - met us at the dock and lead us on a run through Victoria, BC. We finished at the store and celebrated our week of running with pizza and beer.
It was a truly remarkable week. I got to run in Sitka and Victoria but spent most of the time as "race director". It was worth it. I can't remember a more satisfying week.
PS: A bonus was that Danny Robertson and I played trombone duets at the Victory Party. It was my first public performance in 21 years.