Former UAF Cross Country Runners shine at Run for the Refuge

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Although smoke canceled some of the events earlier in the weekend, it cooperated enough for the Run for the Refuge to take place Sunday.

The event featured a 5K and a 10K course, benefiting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Crossing the finish line first in the men's division 10k was Brian Atkinson at 39:05, while Brie Van Dam was the first woman to clock in at 48:06.

A couple of folks familiar with the course took home the 5K crowns. Steian and Maria Stensland were the first two to cross the finish line in the 5K. The Norweigan couple ran cross country for UAF in the 90's. Steian came in at 21:40, while his wife Maria clocked in at 23:29. The two were motivated by their little ones.

"Today [our goal] was to get first, mainly because we had the kids here to cheer us on, so it is fun to be first," Maria said. "It was very warm, I was looknig forward to the shade during the run and I was happy I was not running the 10K." she added.

"We have ran on these trails many times. The first time in '97, this is the seventh time we are back here," Steian said. "These trails bring back good memories, but it was really warm and hard, but it is nice to be back. We are here about a week, traveling around Alaska, visiting friends all over the state."

Up next on the race series is the Sourdough Triathlon. It is a half ironman that features a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.