Race the Planes 5K draws over 100 runners

Race the Planes 5K draws over 100 runners
Published: Aug. 27, 2023 at 7:32 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Over 100 runners took part in the Race the Planes 5-kilometer race along Point Woronzof Road adjacent to the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Sunday morning.

The run paralleled the busy airstrip with planes taking off and landing just across a fence marking the boundary of the airport.

Race organizer Steve Heilman said the event began last year and raises money for the American Cancer Society.

“We kind of started this as a memorial to our late officer Tony Carter who we lost in 2014 to cancer,” Heilman said.

The race was received positively and could be here to stay, Heilman said.

“We’re doing it this year because people last year enjoyed it so much and we’ve almost doubled the number of people that registered this year,” Heilman said. “I’m pretty much getting the impression that I’ll probably have to put it together next year as well.”

Billy Mueller placed first overall with a time of 17 minutes, 44 seconds.

Michelle Isaev came in seventh overall — first in the women’s category — with a time of 21:31. The Tuluksak teacher said she entered the race after her travels back to the village were delayed.

“Just doing it completely for fun,” Isaev said. “I signed up very last minute, late last night, and came out to do it. I hope they keep doing this one. This is a fun race.”

The event raised between $15,000 and $20,000 last year with about 70 registered runners. Organizers say with 127 runners registered this year, they expect to surpass $20,000.