|Momma Grizzly & two Cubs - Denali|
|Seal on small glacier ice in Kenai Fjords|
|Orca's in the Kenai Fjord National Park|
|Caribou in Denali National park|
Somewhere between mile 5 or 6 (I believe) the pavement really did end and we were put on what I think was one of the Military dirt back roads. Miles 6-8 were pretty much uphill from what I remember. But I was enjoying the beautiful tree lined run on the dirt road. I had a lot of my concentration on my foot and making sure I placed it correctly on the road, there were lots of rocks and I had to pick my path carefully.
Some area's were better than others, but when I'd step on a rock wrong, my foot sure let me know it!
I kept my eyes open for bear or moose, we were definitely in their territory, but I was having no such luck at spotting any:(
Yup, I was definitely getting some major cross country running in during the several unpaved miles of this race:) But it was beautiful, just tree's, pines and fresh mountain air... (Still no bear or moose sightings.)
|Northwestern Fjords Glacier|
We came out of the mountains and into the city for a short time before back on paved trails within the city. They were filled with so many tree's, rivers, streams and even a lake that honestly you still felt like you were running in the mountains. However, there was a bit less uphill, kind of remember a little downhill and somewhat flat trails to run on for the last 8 miles.
|Sea Lions on one of the small Aleutian Islands|
But I was feeling good, my legs felt stronger than they even have that late in a Marathon, I was still really enjoying myself.
Sometime at the end of the 25th mile, we did get quite the hill through a couple of neighborhood streets that lead to the finish line. That was probably the only hill that really took a lot out of me. (but then it was at almost 26 miles :)
|Resting Seal in Resurrection Bay|
|Glacier & Glacier Lakes - Denali|
I came into the finish area and ran through the shoots. Had my parents with me for this race, it really is nice to have people at the finish cheering you on, rather than some races I do alone.
This race did something I really liked. Instead of giving everyone a t-shirt at the expo, they made you wait until you crossed the finish line to get your shirt. So only the finishers had one. I really liked this, my dad said this was how all the races years ago used to hand out the shirts.
|View of Peak in Denali|
|Mt. McKinley view from a distance on a clear day|
|View of Mt. McKinley a bit closer up|