FAIRBANKS, Alaska From parking locations to road closures, here's the information patrons need to know about the Midnight Sun Run.
Parking for the Midnight Sun Run is notoriously difficult, and road closures only make it worse. Here's the best places to park and the roads that will be affected:
There will be four major parking lots available to the public for the race. The lot next to the Patty Center where the race starts, West Valley's High School, The Carlson Center, and Pioneer Park where the race ends.
Those who park at the Carlson or Pioneer Park, there will be a shuttle available to take them to the start of the race. According to the Executive Director of the Fairbanks Resource Agency, Emily Ennis, the shuttles will be going from the Carlson Center to the Patty Center. They will be running from 7:30 to 9:30 pm.
Individuals who park at West Valley won't have transportation available to get them to the start of the race. However, there will be shuttles after the race to take them back to their vehicles. Ennis says that shuttle route will start at Pioneer Park. The late night shuttles will start at 11:30 pm. For those wanting to park on campus, they have to get there early. Lots near the Patty center will be closed at 7 pm when pre-race festivities are scheduled to start. Just like those who park at West Valley, shuttles that start at Pioneer Park will take them back to the beginning of the race where they parked. With all the parking available to the public, race organizers are asking the people to be mindful and not block residential areas near the park.
For those trying to find their way to the start or those traveling throughout the night, there is some good news; there will only be one road that is completely closed. Thompson Drive, which leads up to the University, will be closed starting at 9 pm until the last racer passes through. There will be DOT flaggers where Thompson meets Geist Road. Travelers in the area should expect delays.
Geist will have partial lane closures further down where it meets University Avenue. One lane of University Avenue heading north towards the Johansen Expressway will be closed for the race. Geraghty Avenue will also have a partial lane closure. Just below Geraghty, drivers will not be able to turn left from Airport way onto Washington Drive. Washington Drive will have partial lane closure.
DOT Spokesperson Caitlin Frye says that these closures are temporary and the roads will reopen sometime after the race.
"So the race organizers submit a permit to DOT and we approve their route," said Alaska DOT Spokesperson Caitlin Frye. "We work with them every year to make sure they have what they have all the tools they need."
Whether you are in the run or not, both racing officials and the Department of Transportation are asking the public to be safe on the roads.