What makes Seward special on the 4th? The Mount Marathon Race!!!!! We learned it was a race straight up a 2,974 feet (906 m) above sea level to the top of Mount Marathon mountain and then back down in less than an hour. What surprised me was that this is
- an international race where people travel from around the world to participate
- 350 to 400 participate in each of the categories of men, women, and juniors
- many/most of the racers finish the race bloody and covered in mud
- the return down the mountain is spent mostly sliding down the side instead of running
- the event normally brings in about 40,000 people for the event
- Just wow!!! …and there were quite a number of runners who were over the age of 60 and 70 as well!
One of the major challenges for July 4, 2019, was that there was a forest fire about 50 miles away and the air quality was really poor. Since the race is so demanding, they were very concerned about the health of the runners. On the morning of the race, they decided to run the race due to a slight clearing of the smoke and gave anyone who didn’t come for the race or couldn’t come to the race an invitation to run in 2020. I was very sad for the runners who had trained all year but decided to not run the race in 2019. But when I looked at the 2020 schedule, the 2020 race was canceled. Sigh…
These two videos were made on Facebook Live. There is some pixelation due to the internet not being the best at the time.
This is a perfect example of trying to do life as normal when cell phone access is challenged. It is trials like this that I learn what I can and can’t do when the internet weak. Sometimes I’m good at preparing for this and other times, it’s a learned lesson. You?
Talking about the cell phone… I am so clumsy that you may notice that I have a strap holding my phone around my neck! After having it run over, replaced, and then dropped on sharp rocks on the edge of a river requiring the screen to be replaced… I now wear my cell phone around my neck with a strap all the time. Are you as clumsy as me?
Since Alaska is so far north, fireworks really looked a lot different there. The night is not dark and more like dusk.
I am unable to stand for a long time. While waiting for the fireworks to start, I used a 3 legged stool with a back that I discovered from a Geyser Gazer at Yellowstone. It is so easy to carry and folds small to always keep in the Jeep.
Alaska is not like any other state and here are some interesting facts about some of their 4th of July celebrations
- In 2020, in Glacier View (Northeast of Anchorage), they launched cars off a cliff!
- In one of our favorite cities, Talkeetna, every year the town decorates a fake moose, features it in the parade, and auctions it off afterward!
- In Elfin Cove, on an island near Juneau, one can try to stay on a “grease pole” where most competitors end up in 50-degree water or play Duck Poop Bingo OR participate in the banana slug race!
- At almost the farthest west one can go to Nome, there are a huge number of games like the gunny sack race, shoe scramble, stilt and 3-legged races followed by a pie-eating contest
- Kake’s residents were the first Alaska Natives to become U.S. citizens when they were incorporated under Federal law in 1912. Everyone dresses in red, white, and blue for their parade and games.
- Juneau, the capital city, has a two-day event that includes a sand dollar search, soapbox racing, and fireworks show.
If you are planning a trip to the United States during this timeframe… Research! There are unique 4th of July traditions everywhere in Alaska!
This ORIGINAL post is part of the #StateChallenge organized by @Kwiksatik and @Denise_Barlock. If you want to find out more, check out our post here and here, and you can also find other submissions by searching the #StateChallenge hashtag.