Image
Alaska Salmon Run Race in Cordova
Alaska Salmon Run. Photo Credit: Copper River Salmon Jam
X

Races in Alaska: Running, Triathlons, & More

Races in Alaska: Running, Triathlons, Biking, & Skiing

Experience Alaska from the trails – where endurance and breathtaking views collide. Planning your Alaska vacation around a race is a unique way to experience the state and connect with the local community. With a wide variety of options, from 5k runs to ultramarathons, triathlons, bike races, and multi-sport winter races that welcome skiers, fat tire bikers, and runners, here’s just a sampling of the amazing races that await you here in Alaska. 

Running Races in Alaska

Looking for a race that will test your abilities, but also offer the most scenic views? Run (or) walk to one of these incredible races! Note: Race titles with an * indicate races that can be a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. 

Mayor's Marathon in Anchorage
Photo Credit: Skip Hickey

Alaska Mountain Runners Series, March - August
This mountain trail race series is held during the spring and summer months, with races spanning across the state on some iconic trails including Bird Ridge, Knoya Ridge, Matanuska Peak, Alyeska, and more.

MAY

Prince of Wales Island Marathon*, Craig
Enjoy this incredible race on the third largest island in the United States. With 900 miles of coastline to enjoy, this marathon boasts incredible ocean and lake views, forest, bays, coves, and more.

June

Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon* & Half Marathon, Anchorage
One of Anchorage’s most popular races running for 50 years, this is a great opportunity for racers of all ages and abilities to come together. In addition to the marathon and half marathon, the event also includes a kids 1-miler, a 4.7 mile, and a marathon relay.

Mayor's Marathon in Anchorage
Mayor's Marathon. Photo Credit: Visit Anchorage, Roy Neese

Denali135: 50k, 100k, and 135k, Paxson to Cantwell
Race across the one and only Denali Highway – the original road to Denali National Park – with spectacular views of Denali and the Alaska Range. Choose to go the full 135 miles in this rugged endurance race or tackle the 50k or 100k. This race is capped at 50 participants.

Duff’s Skagway Marathon, Skagway
This race offers a half marathon or full marathon, plus a walking half marathon. Taking runners along the coastline, through forests, and even to some glacier views - runners will experience scenery and endurance in equal measure. 

Midnight Sun Run 10K, Fairbanks
Celebrate the summer solstice with this iconic midnight sun race that begins at 10pm sharp on the longest day of the year! Friends and family of all skill levels are welcome! 

Midnight Sun Run Fairbanks
Midnight Sun Run in Fairbanks. Photo Credit: Explore Fairbank, Sherman Hogue

July

Mainly Marathons Alaska Series, Juneau
This race series is on a mix of pavement/trail and offers a full and half marathon, 5k, 10k, and 50k. Participate in one race, or race each of the 4 days. All races start at the same time and on the same course - with each distance running a set amount of laps on the course. This race series will have you enjoying the sights in Alaska’s state capital.

Mount Marathon, Seward
Legend has it that this race started when two sourdoughs argued whether or not someone could run up and down the mountain looming over Seward in under an hour. At the time, it couldn’t be done: the fastest time of the first organized race in 1915 was 1:02. This one-of-kind race happens every 4th of July and attracts people from all over the world to the self-proclaimed “toughest 5k on the planet” to scramble up and down 3.1 steep and technical miles with almost 3,000 feet of elevation gain. Registration is capped for this popular event – first timers have to register for the lottery for a chance to race. Even if you can’t race, this event is fun for all, with spectators flooding the streets of downtown Seward to cheer on the runners! Today, top racers make it up and down in just over 40 minutes. 

Mount Marathon Rece in Seward
Photo Credit: Mick Dees

Crow Pass Crossing, Girdwood to Eagle River
This backcountry point-to-point trail race has sleep climbs, technical terrain, glacier views, river crossings, and loads of adventure along the Crow Pass Trail in Chugach State Park. Runners must qualify to race, making it an endeavor that requires preparation and technical trail running skills – but you’ll be rewarded with stunning sights and stories to tell.

Cirque Series, Girdwood
This race will test not only your grit, but also your quads. People from all over the globe travel to participate in this technical race where running up and down Mt. Alyeska means that mud, snow, rock scrambling, and often rain are all part of the course. The 6.2-mile route is not for the faint of heart, climbing over 3,800 vertical feet – and then you have to run back down. Views of the Chugach mountains, glaciers, and Turnagain Arm are just one of the reasons the race is well worth the climb.

Runner at the Cirque Series Race
Photo Credit: Cirque Series

Juneau Marathon*, Juneau
This out-and-back marathon and half marathon is held on Douglas Island along the Douglas Highway. Racers enjoy a scenic route with views of Mendenhall Glacier across the water.  

Resurrection Pass Ultra, Hope to Cooper Landing
This mostly self-supported backcountry trail race follows the Resurrection Pass Trail from Hope to Cooper Landing. The 50 miler is a point-to-point that starts in Cooper Landing and ends in Hope, while the 100 miler is an out and back that goes from Hope to Cooper Landing and then back to Hope.

Alaska Salmon Runs, Cordova
Enjoy this run that traverses the world-famous Copper River Delta during the Copper River Salmon Jam Festival. Five distance options are available, from the Smolt 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk to the King Salmon marathon. The mostly flat course offers spectacular views along the way.

Runner at the Alaska Salmon Run
Alaska Salmon Run. Photo Credit: Copper River Salmon Jam

AUGUST

Anchorage RunFest*, Anchorage
This exciting and fun race series in Anchorage is one of the biggest running events in the state, with activities for every level of runner and walker. Multiple races take place over two days, including the 49k ultramarathon, marathon, half marathon, 5k, Anchorage Mile, Military Mile, and kids 2k.

Anchorage Runfest race
Anchorage RunFest. Photo Credit: Visit Anchorage, Roy Neese

September

Klondike Relay, Skagway
Beginning in Skagway, Alaska and ending in Whitehorse, Yukon, this relay road race travels over 100 miles with 10 legs of varying distances. This is truly a one-of-a-kind experience for adventurous relay running teams.

Equinox Marathon, Fairbanks
This challenging marathon takes you through Fairbanks trails with an elevation gain of over 3,000 ft – including the significant climb up and over Ester Dome. A half marathon is also available during this fun community event held during the autumnal equinox.

Equinox Marathon
Equinox Marathon. Photo Credit: Explore Fairbanks

Triathlons in Alaska

Triathlons in Alaska combine the endurance skills of swimming, cycling, and running on some of the most scenic and epic landscapes in the world. Some of the top Alaska triathlons include:

  • Pink Cheeks Triathlon, Seward, May
  • Gold Nugget Triathlon, Anchorage, May (Women’s only event)
  • Eagle River Triathlon, Eagle River, June (Sprint and Olympic Distance)
  • Why Not Tri, Palmer, June
  • North Pole Triathlon, North Pole, June (Olympic Distance)
  • Sourdough Triathlon, Fairbanks, July (Half-Iron Distance)
  • Moose Nugget Triathlon, Anchorage, July (Sprint and Olympic Distance)
  • Aukeman Triathlon, Juneau, August (Sprint, Olympic, and Half-Iron Distance)

Bike Races in Alaska

Fat tire bike, gravel bike, and mountain bike races are par for the course here in Alaska! Speedway Cycles host some fun races in the Southcentral region, including the Trio Fat Bike World Championship race in Talkeetna - just one of the options for racing on this rugged terrain. Other notable bike races include the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay in Haines and Palmer Spring Classic in Palmer. 

Really into racing? Join local cycle clubs to take part in their race series’, including the Fairbanks Cycle Club in Fairbanks and the Arctic Bicycle Club in Anchorage.

Winter Multi-Sport Races

Races aren’t only for summer and fall – enjoy skiing, fat tire biking, and running across some of the most historic and scenic trails, even in winter. From the Iditarod Trail by foot, to fat tire biking ice-covered rivers, winter races in Alaska are every bit as epic as they sound. 

Skiier at Oosik Ski Race
Photo Credit: Oosik Classic, DeReamers

January

Tri Flake Winter Triathlon, Anchorage
This 6k winter triathlon course at Kincaid Park combines running, biking, and cross country skiing for a unique and fun winter race.

February

Iditarod Trail Invitational, Mat-Su Valley to Nome
Welcome to the world's longest winter ultramarathon, on one of the most recognizable and historical trails in the world. Hardy competitors take several days to run, bike, or ski the 350 miles and 2-4 weeks for the full 1,000 miles of the historic Iditarod Trail, embodying why the trail has come to represent all things endurance.

Susitna 100 and Little Su 50k, Big Lake
Trailing over frozen land, lakes, and rivers, with a section called The Wall of Death, this wilderness race traverses remote, beautiful, and challenging winter terrain. Participants run, bike, or ski across snowmachine and dog sled trails in the Mat-Su Valley.

March

Tanana River Challenge, Fairbanks
This 45-mile or 25-mile winter endurance race welcomes runners, skijorers, skiers, and bikers across the frozen Tanana River, complete with aid stations and a party afterwards.

Chena River to Ridge Endurance, Fairbanks
With the option to traverse the 55-mile or 26-mile routes, participants can choose to either ski, run, or bike this race that travels through the trails of the Chena River State Recreation Area outside of Fairbanks.

Homer Epic, Homer
Participants can run, bike, or ski this 50km or 100km race on with groomed trails offering epic snow-capped mountain views from the Caribou Hills outside of Homer.

Tour of Anchorage, Anchorage
This cross country ski and fat tire bike race traverses 20k, 40k, or 50k through Anchorage’s excellent trail system, attracting both elite and recreational athletes.

Oosik Classic Ski Race, Talkeetna
Ski into spring with this welcoming and exciting Nordic ski race across Talkeetna - one of the state’s largest and liveliest ski events. Choose the 10k, 25k, or 50k route, and don’t forget to pack your costume! The race is complete with entertaining aid stations and a lively afterparty.

Oosik Ski Race
Photo Credit: Oosik Classic, DeReamers

No matter where your races take you, you’ll never experience a race like an Alaska race! 

Share

Alaska: AKA Your Next Adventure

Where will your Alaska adventure take you? Order our Official State of Alaska Vacation Planner and plot your course.