Half Marathon Tuesday: Mayor’s Midnight Sun Half Marathon
For today’s half marathon, we take off to the land of the midnight sun for a highly spoken of half marathon. This race will take you through one of the most beautiful states in America at the peak time of the year. It is said that on the clearest of days, the runners can see Mt. McKinley. The course is a mixture of trail and road and goes around the outside rim of the Anchorage airport (for all you airplane fans).
The day this half marathon is held is the summer solstice which means you will have almost 20 hours of daylight! Such a trip should be a real treat and this half marathon gives you the opportunity to enjoy it along with a couple thousand other runners. This race is held along with a marathon that begins one hour before and a 4 mile race that begins at the same time. The course is a little challenging but guaranteed to be beautiful.
For the 2014 race, they have instituted a new category for the half marathon. It is the Buddy Half Marathon, a relay for the distance. You can choose either a 2 or 3 person relay. Individuals can run more than one leg but this would present a great chance for runners who are not quite ready for the whole distance to enjoy the environment and adrenaline of the half marathon.
Here are some details about the Mayor’s Midnight Sun Half Marathon:
- Mayor’s Midnight Sun Half Marathon – website
- To be held on June 21, 2014
- Start time is 9:00AM
- Fee is $60 for the half-marathon and $10 less if you are an Alaskan resident
- course map
Most of the major airlines based in the US fly to Anchorage – Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, United, and US Airways. This gives you plenty of options with what you can use to get to Anchorage. For Alaska, American, Delta, and US Airways, it costs 25,000 miles for a round-trip award ticket from the continental US to Alaska. For United, it costs 35,000 miles for a round-trip purchase while Frontier only charges 20,000 miles.
As for the purchase price of the ticket, it will depend on where you are traveling from (of course!). To give an idea, tickets from NYC and central Florida are pricing out at $500 for a Thursday to Sunday trip, tickets from Atlanta are around $700, tickets from Houston are at $440, and tickets from Los Angeles are $350. If you go the purchase route, you can use cards such as US Bank Flexperks, Capital One Venture, or the Barclaycard Arrival to have a statement credit for the travel purchased.
Many of the major chains have representation there. Hotel costs are somewhat higher there than the the typical price would be for those brands elsewhere, so these are prime locations for award stays. The Hilton Anchorage is one such hotel. The cash price is over $300 a night but costs 50,000 points per night. It is also quite near the race site. Another great option is the Sheraton which comes in at $300 for a night or 10,000 points for an award night.
This is one of those races that have always held my interest. I would love to be able to run the marathon (same day and course) sometime. If you are looking for an exotic, beautiful half marathon without ever leaving America, this could be it! Plus, you can stay up to all hours of the night without the sun going down! I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of sun all the time!