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Alaska Endurance Trail Run
May 31 @ 8:00 pm - June 1 @ 8:00 pmVaries
The main AETR course consists of a roughly 6 mile loop on the trails of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) West Ridge. This is a world-class Nordic ski area during the winter, so the trails are well-maintained and reasonably smooth, with gravel, grass, and forest duff surfaces. They pass through heavily forested areas and open fields and meadows, so there is plenty of variety to keep your interest during the run. There are no road crossings, other than an occasional gravel maintenance road, and the only concrete is a short section (maybe 300 feet) along a paved bike path on the east side of the course to get around Ballaine Lake. Even there, you can run alongside the bike path on gravel or grass.
Note: The UAF Trails Club does a lot of work to maintain these trails, and we’re very fortunate they do. If you’re willing, please support them any way you can!
The trails are mildly technical in places, mainly with roots but also with the occasional fallen branches and trees. Depending on the spring thaw and the amount of rainfall in the weeks leading up to the race, there can be and often are some soggy areas that you can either pick your way around or plow through.
Not sure if a race like this, going around the same loop repeatedly, is for you? Read In Praise Of Loop Courses on iRunFar.com. This post, by well-known ultrarunner Andy Jones-Wilkins, talks about the benefits. As he says, this kind of race isn’t for everyone, but it can be a great way to have a fun time while doing amazing distances.