July 2, 2014 update:
We have one dedicated driver and car (Thank you Todd - we really owe you a major thank you) and four folks definitely going as per last night's meeting at Kincaid. Brandon, Martti and Sara; are you still planning to attend? If so, we'll have to sort out an additional car.
RUN DAY MEETING TIME: 4:45 am at the Muldoon Carrs parking lot. Leave at 5 AM sharp. Bib pickup at the Willow side of the race by 7 am, and 7:30 runners off shortly there-after. 9 am runners (if any) have a bit of a wait.
June 8, 2014 update:
We have seven folks who signed up hereLet's sign up if you haven't already! The link to register is here, look for the green button on the nice big center stage photo. Please note that registration is currently $40 ($43.25 with fees, but hey, you do get a T-shirt), but goes up to $50 on the 21st of this month.
For anyone who wants to meet in person beforehand to discuss run-day details, let's gather on the 1st of July (a Tuesday) for a 5 to 10k run and chat at the Kincaid Chalet at 7 pm.
The 2014 Hatcher Pass Marathon is scheduled for July 12th this year. I would love to do this run, and more-so, I think it might be a good event to organize through Trail Runners. Why? - carpooling is required, and the course is both mountainous, undeveloped and gorgeous; not quite trail in the traditional sense, but close enough. HOWEVER, the devil is in the details, so please read closely:
The race extends for slightly more than 26.2 miles over Hatcher Pass Road (aka Willow-Fishhook Road) from the Willow side, up to Independence Mine State Park, beginning at 9 am (7 am same day bib pickup). Five aid stations are provided, at miles 4.9, 9, 13, 17, 20 and 23. The course is 'relentlessly uphill' for the first 25 miles - 4000' total elevation gain, which is more climbing than is required to go from sea level to the top of Powerline Pass by 400 feet. An additional recreational runner start is offered at 7:30, for those folks who don't wish to attempt to complete the course in under 6 hours (and remember to add something like half an hour to an hour or more to your usual marathon pace to account for the extra 4000' of climbing).
So my thought is that we organize two or more cars. We proceed to get up very early (leave Anchorage around 4 or 4:30 am?), drive to Independence Mine State Park, leave one car, pile into the other car or cars and shuttle down to the beginning of the course in time for the 7 am bib pickup. Anyone who plans to run a slower pace starts at 7:30. The somewhat faster runners then start at 9 am, which should put most of us back up to the top/end of the course around 2 pm or so. The Willow-side car or cars is then retrieved by the first fastest two or three finishers, then and we all head home to Anchorage, arriving home around 5 or 6 pm or so, possibly with a stop on the way for a big dinner. I believe a BBQ is also provided for racers.
That's lots of logistics and planning. So here's what I would recommend we do in advance to make this go smoothly:
If you are interested in going, indicate so here on Trail Runners. As soon as we have three or four people who are firmly committed to going, we will know that we have a large enough group to make the cars work, as we can all sign up for the race. Early registration is $40. While I know that folks sometimes choose to run organized events without paying, I call shame on anyone who does that for this race - this event is organized by the Willow Running Club, and they are not a wealthy organization, so your $40 goes directly to helping organize the event - plus, $40 for a marathon is a great deal! Finally, once we're all signed up, I further recommend a short meeting the week before (perhaps a 5k on the trail system) to figure out who is driving, where we are meeting, how many exactly are coming, about how fast everyone is (i.e. when are you expecting to finish), and what your start time will be (7:30 or 9:00).
That's a bit more structure than our usual show-up-and-make-it-work-same-day plan, but I think the extra planning will let a lot of us enjoy a local marathon that is otherwise difficult to do because of the lack of end-to-beginning post race transportation. More information is available here: http://www.willowraceseries.com/hatcher-pass-marathon.