Saturday, May 29, 2021 • Craig, AK • Course Map
The wild, unspoiled woodlands of the Tongass National Forest and the highways that carve through this large island in what is known as the Alexander Archipelago along the Alaska panhandle serve as the setting for the Prince of Wales International Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay race, which makes its 21st annual running this year.
Long a center for mining and logging, Prince of Wales Island in recent years has become a tourist destination as well, especially for sport fishing — the race organizers add that it’s known as “sportsman’s and photographer’s paradise,” thanks to its steep, forested mountains that are home to an abundance of awe-inspiring natural beauty and wildlife.
It’s also home to the indigenous Haida and Tlingit tribes, which share the large main island along with 11 nearby island communities.
Runners in the half marathon, like those running the full marathon, follow an out-and-back route that begins at Craig High School on the Craig-Klawock Highway, here in this small city of roughly 1,200 residents on the west coast of Prince of Wales Island.
The half marathon starts with the full marathon, and follows the same route as the full for its first 6.55 miles — along Craig-Klawock Highway to Highway 929, where runners will reach the halfway turnaround. After that, they’ll retrace their steps all the way back to the high school for the race finish.
Most of the course is scenic paved roads winding through the Tongass forest, with several gentle hills along the way.
While they’re making their way through the village of Klawock, runners will pass by a Tlingit Clan House and totem pole. The last seven miles of the race will unfold mainly along the shoreline of Klawock Inlet, leading into Craig.
While you’re in the area for the race, before and/or after the event is the perfect opportunity to take in some of the wildlife viewing that has grown in popularity here in recent years — from eagles to bears to deer and elk. There is also plentiful trail hiking in the Tongass woods, and kayaking in the waters surrounding Craig.
Race Weather & Climate
Located near the southern end of Alaska’s Prince of Wales Island, roughly 200 miles south of Juneau, Craig enjoys what is known as a temperate rainforest climate. In late May, average local temperatures typically are in the low 60s.
Precipitation at this time of year usually occurs in light showers. Some race days have brought bright sun and higher temperatures, but often it is perfect running weather. However, bringing layers and light rain gear is always a good idea.
- 2018 Prince of Wales Island Half Marathon Results
- 2017 Prince of Wales Island Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Prince of Wales Island Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Prince of Wales Island Half Marathon Results
See race website
To reserve your spot in the 2021 running of Craig’s Prince of Wales Island Marathon, Half Marathon or Relay races, visit the event website below.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Prince of Wales Island Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.