Avast ye, Mateys!
Batten down the hatches and shiver me timbers. Stuff your duffles, Scallywags and Landlubbers, it’s nearly time to weigh anchor and head out on to the high seas for the Great Alaskan Running Cruise.
The Alaskan trip has always had a special place in my heart. It was the first cruise that Jenny and I took together, it was the inspiration behind Marathon Expeditions, and there has been something just a little wacky on every journey.
EAGLE BAIT: On one of the cool years, when we ran along the Gastineau Channel, one of our participants chose to wear bright red gloves to keep his hands warm. He was delighted when he looked up and saw a huge bald eagle flying towards him.
Right up until he realized that the eagle was diving for his “salmon red” gloves.
THE TIE THAT BINDS: It’s hard to believe some of what we did in the early days. For example, we used to have each participant run a mile on the treadmill – on one of the top decks on the fore end [front, landlubbers] of the ship. It wasn’t a great plan for a lot of reasons.
But the year that the airlines lost the luggage one of our participants, and she ran in borrowed shoes and her cabin robe it got VERY interesting. Between trying to keep the robe closed and not falling off the treadmill she ran the slowest mile of her life.
STELLA: I’m not mentioning names, but let’s call her Stella, because that’s her name. English was not Stella’s first language which on it’s own made for some very amusing moments.
Stella was a fantastic, and fast, runner. She was easily in 3rd place when the runners started coming by me a mile of so from the finish line at Lake Ward, outside of Ketchikan. When I went to the finish, everyone was there EXCEPT Stella.
She missed the last turn and ran nearly 7 miles back toward Ketchikan until she found a highway crew and somehow explained where she had started.
And I think that’s what has always made the Great Alaskan Running Cruise so magical. The scenery and wildlife are amazing; we’ve made great friends with the local runners, and have learned each year to appreciate all that the Last Frontier has to offer.
Grab your doubloons, get your kit together, and get on board.