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Category: Adventure

The Great Alaskan Running Cruise: Juneau

You can read about my day at sea and the views of Hubbard Glacier  HERE.

Finally race morning!  We were happy it wasn’t really but weather was in the mid 50s and humid.

Our group was one of the first ones to get off the ship.  We were VIPs.  🙂  Then a bus took us to North Douglass Island for the race.

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There was gear check and a few goodies for us.  

A few pictures before the start.

Time to run.

The previous day, Jenny mentioned that the course was pretty but had some hills.  I didn’t care about the hills (SHOCKING!!) because my goal was to enjoy it.   We had 4 hours to finish the race so we had plenty of time.

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The course was 4 loops so we  got to see the same views various times.  There was a water station at 1.55 miles (turnaround for those doing the 5k) and another another one at 3.2ish miles.  It was hilly but also had some gorgeous views.

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I finished  in 2:42:14.  When I finished, I drank some water, ate a few cookies and waited for Meghann so we could take the bus back to the ship.  

There she is!

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Elizabeth ROCKED her race!  She came at about 10 seconds behind the 1st place winner.

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Due to some miscommunication, we waited about an hour to a bus.  We were worried because we still had to shower, eat, and be ready for our Mendenhall Glacier Tour.  No worries!  We got it done and were ready on time.  However, what was irritating is that we ended up waiting about 20 minutes for a party of 3 that never showed up. 

Another glacier?  Sure, why not?  But first a scenic drive around town.  I wasn’t too impressed with this tour because the view was so much better at Hubbard Glacier.  

A porcupine and a few ducks.

Then we were back on the ship for another night at sea.

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That evening Meghann and I celebrated by enjoying a steak dinner at Chops Grille.  We both had filet mignon and it was delicious.  

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The Great Alaskan Running Cruise: Hubbard Glacier

You can read about my day in Seward HERE.

The ship left Seward Friday evening and was at sea till Sunday morning when we docked in Juneau.

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On Saturday morning we had a HOT breakfast and a training workshop and motivation session led by John and Jenny.  Let me tell you that there was a delicious and hot breakfast for us waiting each time we met in the morning before a race.  🙂

Finally got a picture with Elizabeth.

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Enjoying the sunshine and the view.

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A group picture.

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Then the most spectacular views of Hubbard Glacier.  It was beyond anything else I’ve seen.  It was breathtaking!!  Cold too.

The Great Alaskan Running Cruise: Seward

You can read about my day in Anchorage HERE.

Warning: There are lots of photos in this post.

Now it is on to Seward and to board the ship.  Seward is a few hours away from Anchorage and instead of taking a bus like the rest of the runners on the ship, Meghann and I decided to take the the train.  Let me tell you that if you decide to go on this cruise, MAKE SURE TO TAKE THE TRAIN (Coastal Classic) via Alaska Railroad.  And make sure to upgrade to the Gold Star Service.  It isn’t cheap but worth every penny.

Our hotel was about 5 minutes from the train station so Meghann and I walked.  We got our tickets (I purchased ours in January and got row 3 so it must have helped that I booked them early), left our luggage with the porter, got some coffee and then 5 minutes later boarded the train.

That’s our hotel in the background in the picture on the left.

Now I am going to tell you why you have to upgrade to Gold Star Service:

  • Breakfast is included.  And not just a snack bag but a full sit down breakfast.
  • Unlimited beverages (non-alcoholic)
  • 2 adult beverages
  • Domed car so you can enjoy the beautiful and amazing views along the way
  • Comfortable seats that recline 
  • Unique outdoor viewing platform to get some fresh air, mingle with other passenger, and take in the views along the way

Since we were seated in the front, we got to eat about 10 minutes after leaving Seward.  

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And now enjoy these pictures taken along the way.

Along the way I saw a black bear, a moose, and a few eagles.

These last two photos are my favorite!!

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Finally we arrived in Seward and we walked to the ship.

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Inside the Radiance of the Seas.

Our room.

The Great Alaskan Running Cruise: Anchorage

You can read about my day in Seattle HERE.

The next day Meghann and I took another flight to Anchorage.  It was my first time flying Alaska Airlines (I travel mostly via Southwest).

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I love that they offer this free chat option.  I also love that they offer free movies to watch.  I wanted to watch The Peanuts Movie but needed the Gogo Entertainment app but also needed Wifi to download the app.  No bueno.  I wished I had known that before getting on the plane.  It was my own fault because I am sure the airline sent me that information prior to my trip and I just did not pay attention to it.  Spoiler alert: I did not learn my lesson as something similar happened to me on my United flight from Vancouver to Chicago.

Upon arriving in Anchorage, I found a Starbucks and got a mug.  So pretty.

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We got in a cab and went to our hotel.  Meghann did a much better job and got us a room at the Hilton.  It was nicer, bigger, and looked cleaner than our room in Seattle.  🙂

We left our bags and went to get something to eat at 49th State Brewing Company.  I ordered a burger and a flight of beer.  I love Meghann’s beer glass!

We then took a quick nap and then got ready to pick up our welcome packet at the Skinny Raven Sports and to run our first 5k.  The race was not timed and the view was beautiful.  I ran for fun and ended up running negative splits!  <<12:10/11:42/10:56

Prior to the race, we met heard from John (and I think Jenny too) and took a group picture. 

Can you find me in the picture below?

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On our way to Tony Knowles Coastal Trail to run.

On the course.

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Done and time to eat and drink.

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But first a picture of a bear.  We saw lots of bears on this trip.  🙂

GARC17-31We went back to the Skinny Raven for pizza and beer.  I also met Elizabeth and her husband, Greg.  If you don’t know, Elizabeth wrote the book Boston Bound and you can read my review HERE.  I guess in my excitement I forgot to take a picture with her.

Afterwards we went back to the hotel but also explored the town a bit.  

It was another long and fun day.  We were exhausted and went to bed early because we had another trip the next day to Seward.  Nope, not another plane but this time it was a train.  SO MUCH FUN!!!

This was the view at 9pm where it was bright and sunny.

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The Great Alaskan Running Cruise: Seattle

My trip began on Wednesday, July 19 with an early flight to Seattle.  Lola did not want me to leave.  I had a packing list provided to me by Jenny and I would cross off each item once I packed it in my suitcase.

I left early in the morning and arrived in the early afternoon.  Meghann and I had another flight to Anchorage the next morning so we decided to stay in a hotel close to the airport. I made the mistake of not checking the reviews and ended up with a not so great room. The room had a “funny and weird” smell and the owner/manager was not friendly. He was nice to me but he was very rude to another customer.  I couldn’t believe it.  The customer simply asked a question (more towels or linen) and the manager flat out yelled at him and told him to wait and that he had already told him that it would be another 5-10 minutes to get the items he requested.  Umm, let’s just say I never plan to stay there again.  And I will do a much better job of reading the reviews.  Lesson learned.

My nephew is a student at the University of Washington and has a summer job at Microsoft so we made plans to meet for dinner.  In the meantime, I took the Link to go to the Oiselle store, the Apple Store, and Pike’s Market.  I even saw the Original Starbucks but the line was too long to go inside.  Just seeing it from the outside was enough for me.

Then it was dinner at Japonessa Sushi Restaurant followed by a few flights of beer at Elysian Brewing Company.  <<Beer was DELICIOUS!

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Afterwards, I was tired and ready to get some sleep.  Meghann had texted me that she had landed and was heading to the hotel.  I took a Lyft (first time and my nephew encouraged me since he has a internship with them in the fall) and met up with Meghann.  

Then I got my stuff ready for the next day and went to sleep.

It was a long but FUN day.

Ever been to Seattle?  What did you like about it?