An Anchorage resident, a JDHS high school student, and a novice runner from Juneau were the three fastest in Saturday’s Mt. Robert’s Tram Run.
Forty-eight race participants took off from the Mt Roberts Tram building at 9 a.m. They continued up Franklin Street, took a right at 6th Street, a left onto Gold, followed Basin up to the trailhead of Mt. Robert’s, and kept running, and running, and running.
The Mt. Robert’s Tram Race starts at sea level and ascends three and a half miles to approximately 2,000 feet altitude.
Thirty-three minutes and 56 seconds after the race started, Anchorage-resident Allan Spangler touched the cross, the race’s finish line. Race timers cheered on the first place runner.
Twenty-six-year-old Spangler was in town with his girlfriend for the July 4th weekend. Shortly after hitting the trail, Spangler took the lead and felt pretty sure he could maintain it, “but you never know. It’s a mountain race,” he said.
Coming in two minutes and 25 seconds later was JDHS cross-country runner Riley Moser. The 16-year-old had run the race twice before but never broke the top three, until Saturday.
Moser says he’s been practicing a lot for the upcoming cross-country season. “I’ve been putting on more miles lately, a lot more miles. I’ve been doing a lot more mountains than I probably should be doing. We were told not to run as many mountains and do more flats and speed.”
24-year-old Gabe Wechter just started running a month ago, but says he’s an avid skier and climber. The hardest part of the race for Wechter was not knowing how fast to go during the road portion.
“Turns out I should’ve run faster,” Wechter, the third place finisher, said.
Anchorage resident Laura Fox was the first female runner to cross the finish line at 41 minutes and 19 seconds. “I’ve never been up here before so I didn’t know when it was going to stop,” Fox said.
The two youngest runners were 12-year-old Connor Norman and 11-year-old Aidan Hopson, who have run together in ten races this year. Before the race began, Hopson explained what it’s like to run with Norman, “He’s normally kicking my butt.”
But at 54 minutes and 32 seconds Hopson and Norman touched the cross at the same time. When asked what the most difficult part of the race was, the boys replied, “Everything. The whole thing.”
Spangler and Fox will be added to the Mt. Robert’s Tram Run trophy, but everyone who ran the race took home a free tram ride pass to use in the future. To get excited for redeeming this prize, the runners all took the tram down the mountain.
The next race of the Southeast Road Runners is the Governor’s Cup on Saturday, July 13.