FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) As coronavirus concerns cancel or postpone sporting events across the globe, a couple dozen of Fairbanks' most dedicated runners got together, but kept their distance, at the 12th annual St. Patrick's Day Run Saturday at Goldstream Sports.
"It just shows how strong the running community is here in Fairbanks, that we are still coming out here and doing this," Chris Smith, this year's St. Patrick's Day Run champion said. "You saw a lot of people around at the starting line were staying away from each other, so we know what is going on but it is still nice to have this race go on, with all the stress going on..."
Smith conquered the 7.1-mile course in 44 minutes and 55 seconds, over eight and a half minutes ahead of the next competitor.
"They're slick, really hilly," Smith said of the trail that that begins at Goldstream Sports, goes up Ester Dome and St. Patrick Road, to Henderson Road and back. "I am not used to running a lot of hills because I have been stuck on the treadmill because this winter has been cold, so it was nice to get some hills in there for once."
Jacob Case (53:26) was runner-up, while Stacy Miles was third overall and the first woman to cross the finish line at 55 minutes and 32 seconds.
"It was packed down for the most part, there were some slick spots, but it wasn't too bad out there." Miles said after the race.
Saturday's St. Patrick's Day race may have been less about winners and losers, as it served as a mental break for some of the runners.
"I think it is really important for this race to continue to go on, it gives something for the people to look forward to do," Miles added "Instead of the negatives, it has something positive to give back. It keeps the morale up, it lets the community get together to do something other than just sitting around at their house."
One of the next events in the competitive series, the White Mountains 100 scheduled for March 22, has been canceled. We'll keep you up to date on the race schedule as we learn more.