17th Annual Prince of Wales Island Marathon & Relays
5th Annual Half Marathon
We are the race venue for those seeking a challenge and stunning scenery in a unique locale.
Prince of Wales Island is part of the Alexander Archipelago in the southernmost portion of the Alaska panhandle and is the third largest island in the United States. Our island is 135 miles long and 40 miles across. Its 900 miles of coastline has numerous bays, coves, inlets and points. The landscape is characterized by steep forested mountains and deep U-shaped valleys that were carved by glacial ice that once covered this area. It is a lush rain forest environment, with summer temperatures that range from 45 to 75 degrees F; yearly precipitation averages from 60 to 120 inches, based on the exact locale.
The most prevalent mammals in the area are black bears, wolves, Sitka blacktail deer, mink, martens, river otters, sea lions, seals and beaver. One of the most thrilling birds is the bald eagle, and the trickster raven makes many appearances also. Many species of whales are in the surrounding waters. Our island’s surrounding waters are also recognized as a prime fishing spot where king salmon, cohos, sockeye salmon, dog salmon, and halibut may be caught. Stream fishing is also popular, along with hiking, kayaking, camping, and photography.
Our out-and-back course starts at the backdrop of the Sunnahae Mountain at Craig High School and heads north along the Klawock Channel, through the village of Klawock, turning left at the Native clan house, and proceeding along Boundary Road, which turns into Big Salt Lake Highway, and affords views of some of our most majestic lakes, clear streams, and muskeg areas. The middle, more mountainous portion of the full marathon course presents challenges, but equally inspires participants with Southeast Alaska’s natural beauty. The out-and-back half marathon course follows the full marathon course but does not venture into this more mountainous portion. Wildlife sightings are not uncommon on race day. Aid stations on the course will close at 4:00 p.m. on race day. The Prince of Wales Island Marathon is the standard marathon distance of 26.2 miles and is USATF certified, #AK14007FW. Race times may be used as time qualifiers for the Boston Marathon.
Prince of Wales Island is located within the temperate Tongass National Rain Forest, providing excellent running and walking conditions. Typically, temperatures at the start of the race are in the low fifties and may even climb up to the mid-sixties by early afternoon. One race day did provide us with temperatures that reached the low eighties by mid-afternoon – a truly rare experience. Rain is always a possibility; however, partial sun, cloudy skies, and light mists have more often been experienced on race day.
Prince of Wales Island is located within the temperate Tongass National Rain Forest, providing excellent running and walking conditions. Typically, temperatures at the start of the race are in the low fifties and may even climb up to the mid-sixties by early afternoon. One race day in our history did provide temperatures that reached the low eighties by mid-afternoon – a true rarity. Rain is always a possibility; however, sun, clouds and light mists have more frequently been experienced on race day.
There are fifteen aid stations located along the out-and-back marathon course, providing intensive support in the form of hydration as well as lemon drops, fruit, other forms of nutrition, along with an abundance of moral support and good cheer. Aid stations are also supplied with basic first aid supplies and clothing drop bags. Aid stations compete for our coveted traveling trophy each year, making their efforts to serve all participants go way beyond that proverbial extra mile. Support vans constantly cover the course and provide rides to relay participants along with other needed support. Four EMT crews are on the course throughout the day to address more intensive medical needs.
All participants start at the Craig High School at 8:00 a.m., on May 28, 2016. Mandatory check-in opens at 7:00 a.m. in the high school lobby, where all may check their clothing, stretch, grab a cup of coffee, compare race strategies and pose for photos. Restrooms are also available.
The race finish is likewise at Craig High School, with the finish line closing at 4:00 p.m. Participants may partake of a free grilled hamburger/salmon feed along with other finish line food items from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Meals may be purchased by nonparticipants. Our homemade cookie station and the opportunity to purchase post-race massages will also be available. A display board will exhibit finishers’ bib tags by race category, designating name and race time.
Standard relay teams are composed of either four or eight persons, with plaques awarded to 1st – 3rd place standard relay teams. These relay teams must use designated aid station exchange points, as noted in the race booklet. All relay teams are strongly encouraged to recruit the necessary four or eight persons necessary to form a standard team. An open category is offered for those few teams that are unable to do this. No winners’ plaques are awarded in the open category.
Local island schools form relay teams called Youth Alternative Aid Station Relay Teams, consisting of students in grades Kindergarten – 6th grade and are assigned exchange points at the aid stations. These young runners are a yearly highlight of our race as they cheer on ALL participants on the course. There is also one local Adult Alternative Aid Station Relay Walking Team which covers the course in the same manner.
Please note: No participant will be allowed to participate on more than one team or in more than one race category. Participants may not switch race categories on race day. Any participant who attempts to do so will be disqualified.
Walkers and runners who register by the Early Bird deadline will be guaranteed to receive our 2016 race shirt, which this year features our Sitka blacktail deer in a most unique form. Our tech race shirts are long sleeved and are always admired by many. Participants who register after the April 15 Early Bird deadline will have a shirt on order; there is no guarantee, however, that these shirts will be available on race weekend. The race committee will mail shirts which do not arrive at the CTA Hall by race weekend.
Medals are awarded at the finish line to all marathon and half marathon finishers. Medals for relay teams are awarded at the finish line when the last relay member completes the final leg. Again, the Sitka blacktail deer will be featured on the medal.
Winners’ plaques are awarded to 1st through 3rd place winners in the women’s marathon, the men’s marathon, the women’s half marathon, the men’s half marathon, the 4-person relay team division, the 8-person relay team division and the Youth Alternative Aid Station Relay Team division. These are awarded at an evening ceremony on Saturday, May 28, at the CTA Hall in Craig.
Designer race bags packed with various items and promotional brochures, race bibs, and shirts may be picked up at the CTA Hall in Craig from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 27, 2016. Our race store will also be open during this time and participants may sign our official race poster as well as signing up for transportation on race day. If our race cap has not been met, we will accept additional race registrations at this time.
The pasta feed will be from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the CTA Hall on this date. This is typically put on by a fund raising local youth athletic group. Full marathoners are provided with a free ticket for this meal. Our opening ceremonies will commence at 7:00 p.m., with our guest speaker taking the podium at 7:30 p.m. Expect a unique Alaska Native welcome from dancers attired in Native regalia as part of the opening ceremonies.
Transportation will be provided from local lodges and bed-and-breakfast establishments to the starting area for those who signed the transportation sheet form at the CTA Hall the previous evening. The Craig High School lobby will be open at 7:00 a.m. for mandatory check-in, a quick cup of coffee, clothing drops, photos, and race strategizing.
The race will start at 8:00 a.m. – all participants will cross under the official Prince of Wales Island Marathon arch. Local law enforcement agencies will be at the first immediate turn to ensure that all are safely on the course.
The lobby area remains open all race day and features post-race snacks. Our traditional homemade cookies will be at the finish line. A grilled salmon/hamburger feed is provided at the finish line area for all participants; nonparticipants may purchase a meal. Ten-minute massages may be purchased for a nominal fee, while first time marathoners will receive a free massage. Van transportation to local lodging facilities will be available at the finish line.
A free “Dash and Splash” option is available at the City of Craig’s swimming pool from noon to 4:00 p.m. The use of the pool facilities, a Jacuzzi, a sauna, and locker rooms with showers is free upon presenting one’s race bib. Age limit restrictions may apply for certain areas in the facility.
The awards ceremony will be at the CTA Hall at 6:30 p.m. Desserts and beverages will be available before the start of the awards ceremony. At this ceremony 1st through 3rd place plaques will be awarded, along with numerous door prizes. All full marathoners are automatically entered in our travel package drawing; additional raffle tickets for this grand prize will be for sale at both the Friday and Saturday evening ceremonies. All other drawings are free.
At 9:00 p.m., an adults-only dance party will be held at the Hill Bar in Craig. It’s a wonderful chance to relax and relive the race day experiences!
We make every attempt to keep our entry fees affordable and consider them a bargain. We are able to do this because of our generous sponsors and our widespread local support. Special, discounted rates are offered for registering by midnight Alaska Standard Time, April 15, 2016. After this Early Bird deadline, standard race fees will apply, with our online registration closing on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. Alaska Standard Time or when our race cap of 400 has been met – whichever occurs first. If that race cap has not been met by Friday, May 27, 2016, participants may register at the CTA Hall in Craig between 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Registration for both the Adult and Youth Alternative Aid Station Relay Teams will close on April 15, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. Alaska Standard Time. No registrations for these relay teams will be accepted after this deadline.
Our 2016 guest speaker is Kevin Kline from Houston, Texas. Kevin, who has been an on-air radio personality for 25 years, is the current morning co-host on the #1-rated country radio show “The Q Morning Zoo” on The New 93Q. He began running in August of 2006 and finished his first marathon in January of 2007. He has since run 131 total marathons and/or ultra marathons in 32 states and on four continents in his quest for 50 states and seven continents by his 50th birthday. As part of his running history, he has run 18 consecutive marathons in the Houston July heat; has run 62 miles per day for five straight days; has run Rim-to-Rim in the Grand Canyon four times; and has run twenty-four continuous hours on a treadmill and then immediately completed a half marathon.
He was the subject of a full-length documentary film Dear Chelsey, chronicling his 13-day, 482-mile solo run across Texas. He was selected as one of the first six representatives of the San Francisco Marathon’s “Worth the Hurt Program.” Kevin has been featured in Runner’s World Magazine and covered by CNN, numerous newspapers and various TV broadcasts.
Along with his wife Trish, he founded the Snowdrop Foundation for pediatric cancer research at Texas Children’s Cancer Center, which also provides college scholarships to childhood cancer patients and survivors worldwide. To date, this foundation has raised $1.3 million for pediatric cancer research and patient college scholarships.
Sponsors are the backbone of our race event and have allowed us to maintain and continually improve on our event offerings over the past 16 years. Sponsor contributions help fund: winners’ plaques, guest speaker expenses, advertising, promotional materials, volunteer shirts, sponsor plaques and shirts, course certification, postage, race bags, freight expenses, hall rental fees, food items, aid station supplies, first aid supplies, safety materials, decorations and other items and expenses too numerous to list. Businesses and organizations interested in becoming a sponsor or supporter may contact Ann James at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
All sponsorship’s are due by March 1, 2016.
B-3 Contractors, Inc.
Tongass Trading Company
Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce
Thompson House AC
Alaska Marine Lines
Inter-Island Ferry Authority
Outer Otter Sportfishing
Southeast Road Builders
Cleary Computer Services
R&M Engineering-Ketchikan, Inc.
City of Craig
Wells Fargo Bank
Petro Marine Services
North Star Group
Island Air Express
Silver Sea Adventures
Camo Shop, LLC
Whale Tail Pharmacy
Klawock RV Park, LLC
Black Bear Store
Salmon Sez…Speech & Language Therapy, LLC
Diversified Investments & Insurance
Log Cabin Sporting Goods
Island Christian Academy
Treasure Hunter Lodge
Best Western Plus Landing
NAPA Service Auto Parts
view Prince of Wales Island Marathon Map larger
The course map has not changed from 2013 to current.