Sunday, August 13, 2017 • Valdez, AK • Course Map
Runners truly make a trek out into the Alaskan wilderness (or a small part of it, anyway) at the annual late summer running of the Mineral Creek Half Marathon, which takes runners on an out-and-back run on unpaved gravel paths and roads, into the hills and mountains that to the north of this small city of roughly 4,000 residents.
The race starts and finishes at the parking area on the eastern side of Mineral Creek, along Egan Street along the western edge of Valdez.
From there, runners head north along the gravel road alongside Mineral Creek — there’s a quick, 0.21-mile out-and-back stretch runners will need to cover just to ensure they get 13.1 miles in for the race, after which they start heading north again along the creek.
The course is basically one long uphill stretch from the start to the half-way point, and organizers note that the soft surface is easier than pavement yet smoother than most trails, but that runners also should expect to encounter many potholes along the road.
There will also be plenty of puddles and wet areas on the roads, so runners should prepare to get wet during the race — and bring water bottles with them on the course, as there will be no aid stations on the race route.
Dramatic scenery will abound during this race, however, as the rocky peaks of the Chugach and Wrangell-St.Elias Mountains rise up off in the distance in all directions. Once runners reach the turnaround point, the race is then almost all downhill on the way back into Valdez for the finish.
The course will remain open for 3 1/2 hours, organizers add, and cloudy, drizzly and possibly even rainy weather is also a possibility this time of year.
Race Weather & Climate
Located on Port Valdez in southern Alaska, about a 300-mile drive east from Anchorage, Valdez typically sees some of its warmest and rainiest weather of the year in August, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 32°F (in 1984) and as high as 83°F (in 2003).
On race day (Aug. 13), the average low is 47ºF and the average high is 62ºF.
- 2016 Mineral Creek Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Mineral Creek Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Mineral Creek Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Mineral Creek Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Mineral Creek Half Marathon Results
- 2011 Mineral Creek Half Marathon Results
To reserve your spot in the 2017 running of Valdez’s Mineral Creek Half Marathon, visit the race website here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Mineral Creek Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.
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