Thousands of young children from Anchorage to the Mat-Su Valley to Fairbanks will be racing along trails this September during the annual Cross Country Running Jamborees and similar fun runs.
The Anchorage School District is organizing three Running Jamborees, the North Star Borough School District in Fairbanks is organizing several races, and the Mat-Su Borough School District is scheduling one running event.
The annual fall running events for children have a long history in Alaska. The Anchorage elementary school running events started almost 30 years ago and have expanded over the years to include multiple Jamborees throughout the city, said Melanie Sutton, curriculum coordinator for ASD’s Health and Physical Education Department. This fall, there are three, free running Jamborees in the North Anchorage area, South Anchorage area, and Beach Lake area. Many Anchorage schools help their students get ready for the fun runs by organizing after-school running clubs.
The ASD Health and Physical Education (PE) Department
partners with the Healthy Futures
program, Play Every Day
, local athletes and Olympians, and others to organize the Anchorage Jamborees that will attract about 5,000 Anchorage kids across the city. Elementary students will run different distances, depending on their ages. The race course length ranges from about ½ mile to 1 mile. All kids will receive medals when they reach the finish line.
New this year for participants and attendees will be a special water trailer from Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utility (AWWU)
. Play Every Day and the staff operating the utility’s “H2O 2GO water trailer” will work together to help participants quench their thirst before and after racing. The H2O 2GO trailer is equipped with multiple drinking fountains and water bottle fill-up taps for thirsty runners and observers.
“Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utility is responsible for providing our community with a healthy and reliable drinking water supply,” said Chris Kosinski, AWWU public affairs. “The Utility’s H2O 2GO water station gives students, parents and family members a fun, easy way to stay hydrated at the Jamborees.”
Here are the dates, times and locations for the upcoming Anchorage Cross Country Running Jamborees:
• North Anchorage Jamboree
— Wednesday, Sept. 20, starting at 5:30 p.m., with an optional walk-through of the race course beginning at 5:00 p.m. The Jamboree will be held at the trails near Bartlett High School.
The ASD teachers coordinating the North Jamboree are Ben Elbow and Jill Singleton, both Rogers Park PE teachers. • South Anchorage Jamboree
— Saturday, Sept. 23, starting at 10 a.m., with an optional walk-through of the race course beginning at 9:30 a.m. The Jamboree will be held at the trails near Service High School.
The ASD teachers coordinating the South Jamboree are Michel Woods, Abbott Loop PE teacher, and Nick Leiser, Trailside PE teacher. • Beach Lake (Eagle River) Jamboree
— Thursday, Sept. 28, starting at 5:30 p.m., with an optional walk-through of the race course beginning at 5 p.m. The Jamboree will be held at the Chugiak High School soccer fields and trails.
The ASD teachers coordinating the Beach Lake Jamboree are Caela Nielsen, Ravenwood PE teacher, and Chris Ruggles, Eagle River Elementary PE teacher.
Parents are encouraged to pre-register their children for the Anchorage Jamborees at their schools. All children must have a signed waiver before participating in the event. Ask your child’s physical education teacher for more information about the Anchorage Jamboree in your area.
Here are the dates, times and locations for the upcoming running events in the Fairbanks area:
• Chena Lakes Recreation Area
— Thursday, Sept. 14, starting at 5:30 p.m. For more information, contact Norm Davis at email@example.com
• Chena Lakes Recreation Area
— Thursday, Sept. 21, starting at 5:30 p.m. The host for this event is North Pole Elementary. For more information, contact Allison Bartlett at firstname.lastname@example.org
The running event planned for the Mat-Su Valley is called the Mat-Su Elementary Cross Country Championships and will start at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at Palmer High School. Fourth- and fifth-grade students can participate in the event. For more information, please contact Lyle Busbey at email@example.com
Look for other physical activity events and fun runs for families on the Healthy Futures calendar
. A fall running tradition in Anchorage begins next week with the Tuesday Night Race series
. The series starts Sept. 12 and will take place every Tuesday through Nov. 7.
Photograph courtesy of the Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utility