Sunday, July 30, 2023 • Wrangell, AK • Course Map
Part of this small Alaska panhandle city’s annual BearFest celebration — which features a symposium, workshops, live music, a film festival and photography exhibits devoted to the study of Alaska’s bears and wildlife — the BearFest Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K makes its 12th annual running at the end of the festival, which runs through the end of July.
Surrounded by the water on three sides, Wrangell is the northernmost point of Wrangell Island, one of more than 1,000 islands spread throughout what is known as the Alexander Archipelago, which stretches some 300 miles along the southeastern coast of Alaska near the border with British Columbia.
Rocky, snow-capped mountain peaks, pristine blue water and clear skies are just a few of what visitors see here in the summer, in addition to glaciers and abundant wildlife ranging from brown and black bears to bald eagles.
For runners in the half marathon — which, like the full marathon and the 5K, starts at 8:00 AM — the race will follow an out-and-back course that starts and finishes at the James & Elsie Nolan Center, part of the Wrangell Convention & Visitor Center.
From there, runners head out on what is basically a south-to-north route through town and out onto Zimovia Highway, all the way south to the half marathon turnaround point. Then, runners head north in reverse along the route they’ve just run, all the way back to the convention center for the race finish.
Race Weather & Climate
Located along the northern end of Wrangell Island in the Alaska panhandle, just over 150 miles south of Juneau, Wrangell typically sees mild to cool weather in July, when temperatures typically range from the mid-50s to the low 70s.
On race day (Jul. 30), the average low is 51ºF and the average high is 65ºF.
- 2018 BearFest Half Marathon Results
- 2017 BearFest Half Marathon Results
- 2016 BearFest Half Marathon Results
- 2015 BearFest Half Marathon Results
- 2014 BearFest Half Marathon Results
- $20 – $25 for the half marathon
- $50 – $65 for the full marathon
- Free – $15 for the 5K
To reserve your spot in the 2023 running of Wrangell’s BearFest Marathon, Half Marathon or 5K race, visit the event website below.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the BearFest Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.