Saturday, October 7, 2023 • Anchorage, AK
If this is your first-ever half marathon, the hosts of Girdwood Marathon and Half Marathon warn against allowing this race to be your first. As its eighth (8th) year in operation, this mentally and physically challenging race brings out the most savage of runners!
As for the event’s mission, the Girdwood Marathon is largely a fundraising event for the Girdwood Nordic Ski Club. If you want to support local, this is surely the event to partake in.
Covering some of the most scenic and sought-after trails in Alaska, this race located in the quiet town of Anchorage takes runners through the beautiful and amazing temperate rainforest.
Along the course, runners will acquaint themselves with several famous Alaskan landmarks including Winner Creek Trail, California Creek Trail, Bird-to-Gird Trail, and several Alyeska Resort mountain trails to boot!
Gather your running shoes and meet at Alyeska Day Lodge for the anticipated start of the Girdwood Half Marathon. This updated clockwise looping course takes runnings uphill along Chair 3 Road followed by the first downhill section along Chair 7 Slope Road.
From there, runners turn around and climb the road they just descended from toward the tunnel under Arlberg Road. Just before reaching the tunnel, runners turn left onto Winner Creek Extension.
Once runners exit this trail, they’ll be shot uphill from Sitzmark, finding themselves back at the start line. But the race isn’t finished yet, for it’s only just beginning… Upon recrossing the start line, runners will head toward Glacier Creek Bridge via the Alyeska Bike Path.
Crossing the bridge, runners then enter Town Square heading toward Tiny Trail. Along this portion of the course, runners will enter onto many tangent trails including California Creek Trail, Abe’s Trail, Beaver Pond Trail, and Bird-to-Gird Path, ultimately passing the Railroad Station, revisiting Glacier Creek Bridge, and back toward Alyeska Day Lodge to finish.
Unique from most races, this race invites participants to BYOBS, that is to say, bring your own BEAR SPRAY! Depending on the weather, you might also want to bring a change of clothes for after the race, for you might just find yourself dredging through water creeks and muddy trails throughout.
As for the aid stations, there are 4 to 5 throughout, providing runners with unlimited water, snacks, and runners’ favorite – gummy bears!
Race Weather & Climate
Anchorage, Alaska, is situated in the south-central part of the state, approximately 360 miles from Fairbanks, its nearest major city within Alaska.
In early October, Anchorage, Alaska begins its transition into the cool and crisp days of autumn. On October 7th, the average high temperature in Anchorage typically reaches around 48°F (9°C), while the average low temperature drops to approximately 34°F (1°C) in Fahrenheit.
September in Anchorage sees a modest amount of rainfall, with an average of about 2.3 inches (5.8 cm) of precipitation throughout the month. However, as October arrives, the city generally experiences a decrease in rainfall, and the focus shifts more toward the changing foliage and the gradual cooling of temperatures.
Girdwood Marathon & Half Marathon Course Map
- See the race route map for the Girdwood Half Marathon course map here.
- See the race route map for the Girdwood Full Marathon course map here.
The half marathon start time is 10:00 AM.
To reserve your spot in the 2023 Girdwood Marathon & Half Marathon, you can use the registration link here.
There is a $50.00 fee for the half marathon.