The 5th annual Alyeska Climbathon was held on September 8th. This Vertical Challenge event has participants making as many laps up the North Face Hiking Trail as they can over the course this 10 hour event. 111 hardy mountain runners and hikers showed up for the 9 am start. The event consists of a 2,000 vertical foot climb up the 2.2 mile North Face Hiking Trail to the top terminal of the Alyeska Aerial Tram. Once at the top they get on the tram for a trip back to the valley floor and repeat the climb over and over until they are completely exhausted / satisfied with their vertical accomplishments.
Trail conditions were excellent this year. The trail tread was durable; the footing was excellent good with a couple of short “slip n slide” sections to keep things interesting. The fall weather was pretty much perfect for running as it was about 50 degrees under sunny skies, with a slight breeze. And, the bugs were non existent!
This year, the event participants were men, women, boys and girls ranging in age from 7 to 77. They all have varying levels of fitness that that allowed for anywhere from one to a dozen laps on the trail.
Each lap is named after a prominent mountain that is close to the same summit elevation as the amount of vertical climbed in the event (10 laps plus Mighty Mite = 20,320 vertical feet climbed = “Denali in a Day”). Please see the results page for all of the lap names. This year, 11 men and women achieved Denali in a Day. And, another 4 men exceeded beyond that summit.
The men’s division was lead by Mount Marathon Champion, Matt Novakovich with 24,000 vertical (12 laps). Brian Harder and Todd Borke also finished the day with 11 laps.
The women’s division was lead by Briana Sullivan with 20,320 vertical (10 laps + MM). Tiffanie Novakovich and Bree Donovan rounded out the top three for the women.