Fairbanks runner tries again to compete in Run the Rock

Part of the Run the Rock marathon course was under water last year on the day of the race. The marathon was canceled. (Jane Lanford photo)

Fairbanks’ Jane Lanford is making another run at crossing KMXT’s Run the Rock marathon off her running to-do list.

She was going to run the race last year, but mud slides on the eve of the race washed out the course.

The mud slides, though, didn’t dampen her trip to Kodiak

The weather cleared the day the race was supposed to happen, which let Lanford explore the part of the course that wasn’t underwater. She ended up running about 10 miles — 16.6 miles less than what she planned to run.

“It was another great Alaskan adventure,” she said Tuesday from Fairbanks.

It was the first time in her 30 years of running that a race was canceled. Run the Rock went on a week later, but without the marathon leg.

“I was glad they didn’t do the marathon since I couldn’t come back down the next weekend,” Lanford said.

A year after the mud slides wiped out the Anton Larsen Road course Lanford is back in Kodiak to run in Saturday’s race.

Barring another cancellation, this will be her 11th different marathon in Alaska.

“Some marathoners decide to run all 50 states. I figured I would be different and just try to run all the marathons in Alaska,” Lanford said.

She started in 2000, seven years after moving to Alaska. Lanford said there are about 13 marathons in the state.

“There are new ones all the time,” she said.

Lanford started running to get in better shape while living in the tropics.

“I found out I was halfway decent at it, which was great because I was always a total klutz growing up,” she said.

Lanford is the only out-of-town marathoner out of the eight runners in this year’s race.

She doesn’t mind competing in small marathons.

“I can pretty well run my own pace without other people around, but of course if there are other people around they are probably going to push me harder,” she said.

This is the fourth year of Run the Rock. Crystal Hudak’s 2007 time of 4 hours, 2 minutes, 27 seconds is the women’s record.

Lanford recently placed fifth in the Equinox Marathon in Fairbanks with a time of 3:53:30.6.

Lanford likes the layout of the Run the Rock course, which starts at the Coast Guard Base, goes to the end of Anton Larsen Road and then back to the Bear Valley Golf Course.

“I like the fact that it is partly paved and partly not paved. It will be good,” she said. “It should be one of the more interesting marathons, and that is a good use of the term ‘interesting.’”

Racers have until tonight’s spaghetti feed at Spring Hill Hall to sign up for the marathon, half-marathon and 10-kilometer races. The feed begins at 6 p.m.

The half-marathon has 23 runners signed up, including Palmer’s Jim DeShazo, the only out of town runner in the 15K race.

The marathon begins at 8 a.m. at the Coast Guard Base, while the two other races begin at 10 a.m. at the golf course.

Registration for the 5K race is at 11 a.m. at the golf course. The race begins at 12:30.

Mirror writer Derek Clarkston can be reached via e-mail at sports@kodiakdailymirror.com.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.