June 82024

Days to Race345

Annual Designs

A new design is selected each year for promotional materials and official AKRFW merchandise. The board of directors receives many beautiful design submissions, and is grateful for the generosity of our local artists! If you are interested in donating a design please contact board member Kathy Wisthoff. You can download a showcase of past designs in PDF. The artists and the AKRFW retain all rights to the designs. Find Design Submission Guidelines.

2024 Artist – Chrissy Barber

We happily welcome first-time AKRFW artist, Chrissy Barber. Her sweet design is entitled “Warmth.” She describes it as: The warmth from a full cup can heal the mind, body, and soul. Peaceful energy flows with gratitude, self-love, and compassion for yourself and those you inspire along your journey.

“My journey with AKRFW began in 2014! Since then, I have run/donated to this beautiful cause over the years. My passion for running and my need to help humanity ignited in 2014. I felt a magnitude of positive energy that radiated at the AKRFW, witnessing many souls joining forces in something grander than themselves. Feelings of love, hope, honor, great fortitude, and resilience in their hearts to raise awareness and bring abundance to the lives affected by this disease. A beautiful warmth of energy overwhelmed my heart, standing among many feeling joy, sorrow, and gratitude to be a part of a greater good. I wholeheartedly believe one soul can make a positive impact on many.

“I’m a proud Air Force brat, moving to Alaska as a teenager from Germany with my parents/siblings. Alaska has been my home ever since! I have a beautiful daughter, born and raised Alaskan, and I live here with my family! I am the Founder and CEO of Chrissy’s Fine Art and a certified Human Resource Professional through SHRM and HRCI. I recently achieved my RRCA level II coaching certification in July.

“I am so honored and grateful to serve a higher purpose in life. Thank you all for your inspiration and this lovely opportunity to express myself. This design is dedicated to you and in loving memory of my grandmother, a breast cancer survivor.”
May love, hope, and wellness be with you!” ~ Chrissy

2023 Artist – Alexandra Steinke

This thoughtful design entitled “1 in 8” comes from 5-time Alaska Run for Women artist, Alexandra Steinke. The 8 small runners circling the O represent the 1 in 8 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Alex said, “As I approach 40, I realize how important early detection is. 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer. 85% of diagnoses occur in women with no prior family history (mine). 93% of women with early diagnosis survive beyond 5 years. Early detection can save my life. I’m no spring chicken, but there’s a lot of life I want to live. I’m lookin’ to beat those odds. Regular check ups and mammograms are in my future. RUN to your next appointment too!”

We also loved 11-year-old Hailee Stepetin‘s design, “Running Bear.” She happily agreed to let us use it as part of our fundraising efforts. Look for special merchandise with her design.

2022 Artist – Alexandra Steinke

Four-time Alaska Run for Women artist, Alex Steinke, created a design to commemorate the 30th annual event. We admired how she incorporated the number 30, our diverse participant population, the shared running track, and Alaska. When asked for her design inspiration, she said: “3 decades together. 30 years of commitment, friendship, and supporting a community. AKRFW should be proud of the work it has done.  The people who have been saved with preventative care and the inspiration given to those struggling is immeasurable. I’m proud to be part of a community of women supporting women. Let’s continue to fight for a cure and get through whatever obstacles there may be… together. Happy Running 2022.”

2021 RFW Design

2021 Artist – Alexandra Steinke

Entitled “Forget Me Not” the 2021 race design was created by 3-time Alaska Run for Women artist, Alexandra Steinke. Born in Anchorage and daughter of a long-time Run volunteer, Alex is happy to donate her time and talent to an event that keeps proceeds in the local community. When asked about her inspiration for this design she said:

For the women who have passed, don’t forget their perseverance and spirit.
For the marginalized communities, don’t forget that they might need an extra helping hand.
For the Alaskans who take care of their own community, you are not alone.

Mother, daughter, sister, friend.
Forget-me-not, love.

2020 Artist – Alexandra Steinke

Entitled “Mama Bear” the 2020 Alaska Run for Women design was created by Alexandra Steinke. Born in Anchorage and daughter of a long-time Run volunteer, Alex is happy to donate her time and talent to an event that keeps proceeds in the local community. This is Alex’s second time as the Run’s volunteer artist, and she says this one hits close to home as a close friend is dealing with cancer. She said, “Between weekly appointments and long drives to specialists, my friend’s commitment to her family hasn’t changed. Bundled in gowns, masks and latex gloves, she’s not missing out on family milestones, she’s not missing out on life. She is a good human to her girls, her husband and her friends. As a nurse and caregiver, she struggles to be taken care of. Mama Bear is for my friend. I love her and cancer sucks.”

2019 Artist – Brette Winegarner Knaute

First time Alaska Run for Women artist Brette Knaute is a wife, a mom, an artist, an athlete and a lover of all things Alaska. She is the daughter of Jeni Winegarner, a co-director of the 1994 Alaska Run for Women.
She said, “I spent my childhood in Anchorage camping, hiking, and fishing with my family in the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness. I left a large piece of my heart in Alaska as I am now exploring the world with my Air Force husband and our 3 children. Service High School graduate class of 2003-Go Cougars!”
She created her design in honor of her grandmother Mamie (Beverly Wallace) and her Aunt Linda Smith, and says she was inspired by the running of the salmon and the beautiful pink colors of the brave warriors fighting breast cancer.

2018 Artist – Calesta Ayer

A first time Alaska Run for Women artist, Calesta was born and raised in Anchorage. She and her husband Luke are high school sweethearts and the proud parents of a beautiful baby boy. When not working as a full-time mom, Calesta works as an Associate for The Venture North Group, assisting in services related to mergers and acquisitions, financial, accounting, marketing, and program management disciplines. A lover of ALL things art, Calesta enjoys painting,drawing, crafting and art history. 2018 marks the 14th year Calesta and her twin sister have participated in the Alaska Run for Women. Rain or shine, they gladly participate and look forward to the event each year. She said, “The inspiration for my design came to me after an attempt to clear my mind during a run. No matter how far I ran, I could not stop thinking about my Mom’s recent breast cancer diagnosis. Lost in thought, I finished my run and removed my shoes. As I stood staring at them on the entry way floor, I noticed the untied laces formed what looked like an upside down breast cancer ribbon. Coincidence…maybe…nonetheless my thoughts were interrupted and redirected. Feeling inspired, I grabbed a piece of paper, a pencil and began to sketch what I was seeing. Several years and a few revisions later, my drawing blossomed from a simple black and white sketch to a bright and colorful image. For me, this design holds great significance. It not only serves as a way to share my art with all the beautiful women participating in the Alaska Run for Women, but it also serves as a tribute to my mom and her strength to fight and remain breast cancer free.”

2017 Artist – Kimberly Olmsted

An 8-time artist for the Alaska Run for Women, Kim is a member of the AIGA, the professional association for design and the owner of Kimografix, a web and graphic design company. Titled “Whimsical Simplicity,” the cheerful and celebratory design recalls elements from the past – the iconic start/finish arch and the AKRFW running figure logo updated with softer features and a tutu seen on many team members and solo runners alike. Kim said, “This is a sweet nod to not only the silver anniversary but to all those wonderful women who make this special day a colorful and cheerful celebration by running in all kinds of crazy tutus. The love and joyful spirit of the Run participants is a huge source of hope for the future.”
Thank you to Kim – we think this is a beautiful way to celebrate 25 years!

2016 Artist – Alexandra Steinke

Entitled “In Her Shoes” the 2016 Alaska Run for Women design was created by Alexandra Steinke. Born in Anchorage, Alex now lives in Virginia but visits “home” as often as her budget allows. Her stepmother, a long-time participant and volunteer of the event, encouraged Alex to submit a design. With a degree in journalism, Alex has worked in the printing industry for 8 years, a skill she says is self-taught. She is happy to volunteer her time and talent as she knows that breast cancer affects the whole family. She believes her design encourages you to think not only of the trials and tribulations of those experiencing the disease but of their loved ones as well. “Everyone knows someone whose life has been changed by breast cancer. My design was inspired by the team effort put into battling, conquering and surviving cancer.”

2015 Artist: Pam Clifton

A professional artist creating designs in Alaska for more than 35 years, Clifton was personally touched this year when a friend’s 34-year-old daughter battled stage 4 breast cancer. She said, “I was inspired by the help and support shown to my friend and her daughter from family, friends, and medical staff. That is why I chose a group of women holding hands, running the race together. I have always been touched by the groups of women at the Alaska Run for Women who are there together to support or remember loved ones, holding hands, finishing together, sharing a moment of triumph.”

2014 Artist: Kimberly Olmsted

This is Kimberly Olmsted’s seventh Alaska Run for Women design! Kim is a member of the AIGA, the professional association for design and the owner of Kimografix. She said her design celebrates those at the center of this event, the survivors. Borrowing themes and fonts from the art nouveau movement, the design is an elegant, feminine tribute to the natural beauty and strength of all women who face the trials of breast cancer. It is dedicated to those women and to her niece Katrina, a 37-year-old mother of two diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013.

2013 Artist: Stefanie Fields

Stefanie said her design shows Alaska as a whole fully connected community embraced by a pink ribbon that symbolizes the love and support shown to those afected by breast cancer in Alaska. She was very young when she lost her grandmother to breast cancer, and she did the 2013 event in her honor.

2012 Artist: Douglas Girard

Conceived by board members Jay & Kathy Wisthoff, the XXs celebrate 20 years of breast cancer awareness, the achievements of Alaska’s female runners, and all of the artists who have generously shared their vision. The puzzle pieces signify the rich history of this event, and show how each year builds on another.

2011 Artist: Lorraine Hebert

Lorraine’s whimsical depiction captures perfectly the aura of this event –strong women accomplishing amazing things!

2010 Artist: Lynda Purvis

Lynda dedicated her “shoeprint” design to her high school friend, Patti Carter DeBiase, and said it was inspired by the spirit of each woman who has left her shoeprint on the course. The heart on the heel of the shoe is dedicated to every breast cancer survivor.

2009 Artist: Vonnie Gaither

Of her design, Vonnie said, “A piece of art expressing the fun and joy of running to support, to celebrate, to forget or to survive some milestone in my life and the lives of many other women.”

2008 Artist: Deb Essex

Deb said: “A few years ago, I finished the Alaska Run for Women behind a breast cancer survivor and witnessed her pure joy as she crossed the finish line and celebrated with her friends and family. She was my inspiration for this design. I’ve left the runner’s hair blank as cancer does not discriminate, and chemo usually changes a hairstyle. I will color curly hair on my t-shirt in honor of my sister, Shari, a survivor.”

2007 Artist: Kim Olmsted

Kim said, “I drew this woman, with the impossibly high kick, in a frivolous moment. It’s how I like to feel at the end of a race: strong, spirited and with enough energy to kick it in to the finish line. Whatever our journey may be, let’shope we are equally strong during it and at its end — strong enough to raise our heads, our heels and “kick it!” The AKRFW board of directors adopted the “kick it runner” as its new business logo!

2006 Artist: Karen Daugherty

Karen was inspired by the majestic sunflowers growing in her garden when she created this design. She was reminded of the fight against breast cancer when she admired the sunflowers standing so tall, proud, and bright throughout the summer, and then again when they provided seeds for the birds in the fall. The female runner is wearing the pink breast cancer awareness bracelets and her hands are encircling and bringing together the sunflowers and the words “Alaska Run for Women.”

2005 Artist: Karen Daugherty

For her third AKRFW design, Karen created 3 shoes to signify the strides made in the race for a cure. One of them is embellished with a pink ribbon to keep breast cancer awareness front and center. Forget-me-nots are tucked among the rocks to honor those we’ve lost.

2004 Artist: Karen Daugherty

Karen said this design was intended to give hope and strength to survivors as they receive treatment and search for a cure. The heart represents life and the love we have for ourselves and all women.

2003 Artist: Deb Essex

Surrounded by nature’s beauty, the pink ribbon road represents the path as we search for answers to the causes, prevention, treatment and cure of breast cancer.

2002 Artist: Douglas Girard

Conceived by board member Kathy Wisthoff who was inspired by the popular t-shirt quilts, the design showcases the first nine race designs and celebrates the 10th annual AKRFW and the milestone of passing $1 million raised in the fight against breast cancer.

2001 Artist: Karen Daugherty

Karen said, “This design represents all women, racing together to survive and prevent breast cancer. Just as fireweed returns in mass to reclaim and beautify areas after the devastation of fire, it symbolizes the power created when all of us join together to win against breast cancer.”

2000 Artist: Kim Olmsted

When creating her fifth AKRFW design, Kim said, “The phoenix — rising from the ashes to begin a new life — seemed a spot-on metaphor for breast cancer survivors and served to give hope to those still in cancer’s grip.”

1999 Artist: Suzanne Bach

Entitled “I’m in There!” this design portrays the magnitude of the crowd yet the individuality of the participants. Suzanne said, “I am one of the pink hatted survivors! I hope you will be able to find that you are in here. There was a thank you in my heart to all of you as I painted.”

1998 Artist: Deb Essex

Deb created this design in memory of her Aunt Deanna and said, “The design embodies the spirit of the event. The pink ribbons symbolize all of the runners and walkers. The blue heart between the ribbons represent loved ones we have lost. The small white heart represents the strength and love among supporters and survivors.”

1997 Artist: Kim Olmsted

Kim’s 1997 design celebrated the 5th annual Alaska Run for Women. She featured the iconic colorful balloon arch which, for many years, signaled the racestart. The two figures embracing emphasized the spirit of friendship and loyalty among race participants.

1996 Artist: Kim Olmsted

Kim lost two friends to breast cancer in 1996. She included black trimmed forget-me-nots for them in her design. She said, “The shadowed runner, strong, focused and yet emotionally drained, represents how many of us deal with situations out of our control. We have to move on. As we all run in this event, may we celebrate our health and our ability to better cope with the world because of it.”

1995 Artist: Kim Olmsted

Kim said, “This design borrows from an art form championed by women, the quilt. Historically, quilting has given women a means of simultaneously comforting their loved ones, expressing their creativity and spending cherished time with women friends.”

1994 Artist: Kim Olmsted

Kim said, “In my mind the Run for Women celebrates foremost the strength of women when they act together. For this reason my design features four women running in unison. Their bodies are abstract with slight references to hair so that we may all find a place in this advancing line. The figures are strong, as we are in our most courageous battles. They are also colorful, as we often are at times of great joy. Faces to the wind, these women move together, to celebrate success or support one another in defeat. I have no doubt each of us will encounter great losses, but together, our shared loss becomes our understanding, our shared support becomes our strength.”

1993 Artist: Terri Pauls

Alaska Run for Women founder Terri Pauls drew the simple 5-line swish design of a woman running. Graphic artist Lori Rodgers made it print-ready. The design was used as the organization’s official business logo until 2007.