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The Great Alaskan Running Cruise: Skagway

You can read about my day in Juneau HERE.

Warning: There are lots of photos in this post.

The day of the Gold Rush Amazing Race!  To be honest with you, I didn’t want to do this at all.  Well, I am glad I did because it was a blast!

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We had another hot breakfast and were briefed about the race.  We were given a map and a list of landmarks to find.  To prove that we found each landmark, we had to take a selfie with it in the photo.  Each one was worth 1, 2, 3, or 5 points.  We had an hour to do this and the team with the most points would win.

Somehow we ended up with 13 points.  We took our time and our goal was to only find the ones that were worth 1 point.  The ones worth more were further away and we didn’t want to run that far.  🙂

Landmarks to find.  

  • Eagles Hall
  • Moore House
  • Skagway Museum
  • Red Onion Saloon
  • Airport
  • Gault House
  • Mascot Saloon
  • Gold Rush Cemetery
  • Seven Pastures Park

Ready, set, go…..

The airport was our last stop.  Then we went back to the ship, showered, changed, and went back to town to explore it again.  This time walking instead of running.

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Not too many people live in Skagway (estimates put the 2015 population at 1,057 people). We enjoyed walking around but eventually we got tired and hungry.

That evening we celebrated National Tequila Day by enjoying a flight of tequila and then we were in the mood for a chocolate martini while listening to the piano man.

 

 

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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.

Friday Five 2.0-5 Favorite Races

To date I’ve run over 150 races.  Most of them I’ve run in Chicago or nearby but more than half of my half marathons have been in other states.  Recently I ran a half marathon in Alaska.  I don’t have a recap yet but have written a few posts about my trip and you can read about them HERE.

So you bet it was kind of hard to pick and write about my favorite races.  Well, I thought about it hard and here are my 5 favorite races.

Chicago Marathon.  Definitely the best marathon ever!  I am kind of bummed that I am not running it this year but am excited to spectate and cheer for my friends. I’ve run this race 5 times and am always amazed at how well organized it is as well as the support and encouragement I get along the way.  Plus, it is a BEAUTIFUL course!

This is from my first Chicago Marathon in 2006.  Check out the iPod!

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Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle. The race marks the beginning of the running season in Chicago.  I’ve done this race since 2006 and have missed it a few times due to weather and being out of town.  This race starts and ends on the same course as the Chicago Marathon and there are also many spectators along the way.  I remember the first time I ran this race, I was so happy because I had run the whole race and only stopped ONCE to get water.  That was a huge accomplishment back in 2007 when I was still kinda new to running.

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Elmhurst 4 on the 4th.  I love the distance and there aren’t too many 4 mile races. While I enjoy taking the train and running a race in the city, I also like getting in a car and driving to a different race location.  There is plenty of parking, cheap ($25-$30), and good crowd support.  Plus, I like the variety of running on small hills – different from running in flat land in Chicago.

In 2014 and a 39:39 PR.

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Soldier Field 10 Mile.  What’s not to like about running 10 miles?  It’s weird how when running a half marathon, I start feeling like crap past 10 miles.  That won’t happen when running this race.  I love that it starts and ends near Soldier Field. This year the start line was inside the stadium which was kind of cool and much more organized.  It is cheap if you register early (around $55) but then can go up to $90 in April.

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon.  I ran this race in 2014 and it was my last race of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series.  I enjoyed running on the Strip at night and checking out the view.  I ran for fun because when will I ever get the chance to run on the Strip and not have to worry about pedestrians and cars?

The best part of the experience was my VIP status.  I didn’t sign up for it but got it               because I signed up to run 15 RnR races that year.  I ended up running a total of 14             races because last minute I decided to skip Denver.

Would I do this again?  Absolutely!  A few bloggers are heading out there in                         November and I am tempted to go but do not want to pay the ridiculous price for               the race.  I could just go and hang out with them, right?

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I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 2.0.

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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.