Best vacation ever, Day 12 and 13, Alaska
At this point, things are winding down.
We got up and found a scrumptious breakfast place, The Snow City Cafe. Apparently everyone thought it was scrumptious and walkable from the hotels - we waited quite a while, but they serve coffee to those on the benches, so all good!
The flowers flourish in Anchorage due to the extended daylight. The dahlias were gorgeous!
We took an uber to the Alaska Airlines Center, which is further out - too far to walk when you are going to run a half marathon the next day...
Did I mention the half marathon?
After retirement, Barry decided he wanted to run a marathon in every state, but to include me and my hip in this journey, he graciously switched it to half marathons. So we timed our vacation to include the Mayor's Marathon weekend. Interestingly, so did about 40 runners from the village of Libertyville Running Club. The club founder was running his 50th state marathon, so a bunch of fellow runners came along. They had club shirts both today and in the race, so found ourselves saying "we're from Libertyville, too!" many more times in Anchorage than we would ever have imagined.
Alaska is a great state for minimizing waste - the practical environmentalist. So, no goody bag (we throw out most of the filler, right?) and all forms online. As you checked in, they assigned a bib and registered it to you online. Checked as we left. Done.
Expo - über - Walmart (morning food, sweatshirt for before race) - hotel - walk on the coastal trail - ice cream at Wild Scoops, a micro-creamery. Barry had the famous "Baked Alaska" cone which features toasted marshmallows on top of your ice cream.
Half marathon morning walked to race start.
Nice start with a recognition of all the 50 staters, national anthem, and Alaska state song. Temp was about 60, full sun. Race starts on the coastal trail, moves up to the road by the airport, takes a real trail with roots and hollows and grass for about a mile, cutting through the woods back to the coastal trail, then you run home.
Barry and I weren't expecting any great shakes for this race, due to general fatigue after our active vacation. The race had more elevation gain than we expected, mostly in steeper inclines, and most despicably climbing into Anchorage downtown from the trail at the end. Yes, I walked. Yes, it still counts!
Post-race treats included fruit, donut holes, and grilled cheese sandwiches. We headed out for gourmet pizza then off to the airport...time to go home. I would go back to Alaska in a heartbeat. Beautiful, wild, fun, clean and not crowded. Much left to explore!