If you love to run races, the Prince of Wales International Marathon is for you. Don't let the word marathon scare you. There are a variety of configurations to this race, so there's something for everyone, even walkers. I have run the full marathon, the half marathon and a 4 person relay. One year I just came to watch my husband run the marathon. There is also an 8 person relay and a 13 person relay for kids. The race is 15 years old this year and this will be the 5th year I've participated in it. My husband is a bush pilot so on every other occasion I have run the race, he has run it too and we have simply flown to the Klawock Airport and taken a cab to our hotel. This year, I went with a large contingent of 9 people from Petersburg and we traveled with Breakaway Charters. Breakaway is home-ported in Wrangell, Alaska, a town just South of Petersburg. Their charter boat picks people up 30 miles from Petersburg, so we all had to pack into a couple of cars and drive for awhile to get to our charter boat. The pick-up was at 3:15pm so we were in the cars ready to go by 2:00.
It was a fun 2 hour ride to Coffman Cove on the Northern end of Prince of Wales Island. Lots of beautiful things to look at, lots of excitement and lots of stories. Here Michelle, Marlene and Mary are talking about something interesting.
I can only imagine what Marketa is telling Sharon;)
Jesse and Margaret are going to be married in 2 weeks. This will be Jesse's 4th Prince of Wales Marathon. I was there the year he broke the marathon record with the time of 2:52.11. He has won the race two times, this might be the 3rd.
Just in case you have any questions about what to do while on the boat....
After a 2 hour ride we arrived at Coffman Cove, Alaska.
We weren't at the race yet however, we still had to drive 60 miles to Craig, Alaska.
If you rent a car in Coffman Cove, you will find the paperwork behind the steering wheel and the keys in the visor. This is the paperwork. There's nothing inside this note.
Marlene organized the event for us. She arranged the boat travel, the lodging and the rent-a-car. She did an amazing job! There are many great things about this race. The pre-race packet-pick-up event includes a spaghetti dinner fund raiser for the local Children's Center.
A song to inspire runners throughout the race.
And a guest speaker. This year's guest speaker was Laura Skladzinski. Laura is a pretty incredible athlete. In 2010 at the age of 25, she broke the world record for being the youngest woman to run a marathon in all 50 states. She ran her first marathon in 2008, so she had a very busy two years. She was going to run the race too and The Prince of Wales Marathon was to be her 110th marathon.
Race day... Eating and talking strategy, and oh, thinking about Izabelle, Marketta's daughter who was attending the State Championship Track Meet in Anchorage. She had just won the triple jump event at the state meet and had three events left to go. She ended up as State Champ in the triple jump and the hurdles. She placed 2nd in her other two events. Also, notice the baseball memorabilia on the walls. That was a small sample of the baseball treasures our Bed and Breakfast held. There were signed photos, prints and baseballs everywhere. Micky Mantel, Babe Ruth, Yogi Berra, Joe DeMaggio, Whitey Ford and even Goose Gossage. There was a baseball signed by the members of the '61 World Series Yankees team and two World Series rings in a case. If you are a baseball fan, and you go to Craig, Alaska, you MUST stay at the Beachcomber Bed and Breakfast.
We met up with the rest of our group at the starting point, the Craig High School. Sharon, Margaret and Joanne look pretty serious.
The medals were designed by two local artists, Deborah Ross and Kathy Peavy. They are wood and glass.
Like I said, something for everyone. This is 13 person team.
Jesse and Margaret and mother-of-the bride, Sharon.
Mary and Marlene
Team 'Bride on the Run'
Mary, Margaret, Sharon and Joanne
Jesse, Margaret, Mary, Marlene, Sharon, Marketa, Michelle, Joanne and Me, ready!
Bride on the Run and her groom.
I watched the start and then jumped into the car and ran to the airport to pick up the leg 4 runner for our team. My daughter Helen agreed to be a fill-in for a injured runner but she couldn't get away from work in time to catch the boat so her dad flew her to the race the next morning.
He's that kind of dad. Anything for his girl(s). I think Doug might have enjoyed running. He's run the full marathon three times. One year he took 3rd place in this race. Helen, Peter (Helen's friend from Wrangell)Doug and I ran it as a relay one year too. We really like this event.
Of course Helen doesn't go anywhere without Audrey. She had her first plane ride. She's a good little flier.
We made it back to the event just in time for the handoff from leg one to leg two. Here Michelle is handing off to Marlene. Margaret will hand off to her mom, Sharon.
Whew, that's over!
Marlene and Sharon ran most of the race together. There were a couple of really wicked hills on their leg. After the first hill, the hats came off...
In the middle, of the second hill, the shirts came off. It's a good thing there were only two hills.
Mary and I ran leg three so I didn't get a picture of Mary on the run...sorry Mary.
We arrived at the finish line just in time to catch Helen and cheer for her.
Joanne running to the finish. Check out that form!
A picture of the entire team. Helen, Me, Audrey, Michelle, Marketa, Margaret, Sharon, Marlene, Joanne, Mary and Jesse. The results were great for our group. Jesse took first, our relay, 'Run for Fun, took 2nd, the Bride on the Run relay took 3rd and Marketta took 3rd in the 1/2 marathon. It's fun when everyone brings home a plaque.
After the race we had a fun day of shopping, pizza and then we went to the awards assembly for ice cream and to collect our awards.
At the end of the evening we got together for some games, tea and snacks.
The following morning we all had a yummy breakfast at the Dockside Restaurant.
After breakfast we began our drive back to Coffman Cove to catch our boat. Michelle suggested we make a quick stop in Klawock to look at the totem park. There were amazing poles in this park.
Coffman Cove and the third leg of the journey home.
Thank you Marlene for organizing an extraordinarily fun event!!!
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