FAIRBANKS — Saturday’s 50th Equinox Marathon will most likely go down as the largest race on record.
As of Wednesday evening, more than 700 marathoners, 450 relay runners (150 teams) and 39 ultramarathoners had registered for one of the toughest running events in the country.
Participants are encouraged to pick up their bibs and other prerace information and gifts at the bib pickups tonight and Friday at the Pump House Restaurant.
The bib pickups run from 5-8 each night and a spaghetti feed is available for $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger.
Equinox co-director John Estle said it is imperative for local runners to attend one of the bib pickups.
“Any local person who doesn’t pick up their bib Thursday (tonight) or Friday will probably regret it Saturday morning,” Estle said. “It’s always crowded in the Patty Center lobby on Saturday morning and I can only imagine how much more crowded it will be with at least 300 more participants and their friends.”
The 26.2-mile Equinox Marathon, Equinox Marathon Relay and Equinox Ultramarathon (40 miles) are scheduled to start at
8 a.m. Saturday in the athletic field adjacent to the Student Recreation Center.
If you are crewing for an Equinox Marathon runner, using a bicycle instead of a car might be a good idea, race organizers said.
“To combat the vehicle problem, everyone is encouraged to use bikes to support a racer, get to relay exchange zones and spectate,” race officials said in an email Wednesday morning.
Buses will be available to take relay runners to exchange zones and bring them back to the Patty Center.
The current plan calls for three buses of relay runners to depart the Patty Center parking lot at 8:15 a.m., dropping off all second leg runners at Ann’s Greenhouse and taking third leg runners to the top of Ester Dome.
Two buses will loop from Henderson Road to the top of Ester Dome for most of the day, while the third bus would be responsible for taking first and second leg runners back to the Patty Center for the finish.
Bus stop signs will be placed at the Patty Center, Ann’s Greenhouse, Henderson Road and at the top of Ester Dome.
Only race officials will be allowed to take vehicles on Ester Dome Road past Henderson Road.
People traveling by car are encouraged to use Ballaine Road to reach areas beyond the area of the Gold Hill and Sheep Creek road intersections to avoid runners who will make road crossings in the area between 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Equinox organizers will be selling 50th anniversary Equinox Marathon prints by Kesler Woodward during the bib pickups and the Equinox Marathon Awards banquet Saturday night.
The print, depicting a runner in the woods with the fall colors in all their glory, is limited to 250 copies.
The cost of the print is $125 and all proceeds go directly to the funding of the Equinox Marathon.
The original can be seen at Goldstream Running during regular business hours and will be on display at the bib pickups and awards banquet.
Prints will be available for purchase following the race at Goldstream Running.
As of Wednesday morning, there were still 19 relay runners who had not yet registered to run Saturday. Each runner on a team must register and pay the entry fee applicable to the time of registration.
The following 19 runners still need to register: Anjie Goulding, Fair Weather Runners; Lacie Grosvold, Fair Weather Runners; Meredith Park, Team Awesome; Shirley Taylor, MHT; Maggie Robitaille, Agony of da Feet; Jeremiah Castro, Dirty 30’s; Chris Boese, Dirty 30’s; Emily Jura, Martens; David Hooper, Three Guys, One Marathon; Romel Wrenn, Get Up and Go; Deriene Nikisch, E.N.D; Andrew Ackerman, Knee-Knocking Ninjas; Sam Schmidt, Hard Rockin’ Hedgehogs; Paul Stark, Loonatics; John Keech, Loonatics; Cassie Zimmerlee, Bodega Babes; Brett Roth, Whole Glory; Ryan Hickel, Whole Glory; and Janeann Twelker, T-N-T.