June 122021

Days to Race248

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.

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 proudparents 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 servicesrelated 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, theygladly 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 duringa 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 removedmy 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…nonethelessmy thoughts were interrupted and redirected. Feeling inspired, I grabbed a piece of paper, a pencil and began to sketch what I was seeing. Several yearsand 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 tomy 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 naturalbeauty 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-oldmother 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 Wisthof, 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 buildson 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 CarterDeBiase, and said it was inspired by the spirit of each woman who has left hershoeprint on the course. The heart on the heel of the shoe is dedicated to everybreast cancer survivor.

2009 Artist: Vonnie Gaither

Of her design, Vonnie said, “A piece of art expressing the fun and joy ofrunning to support, to celebrate, to forget or to survive some milestone in mylife 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 abreast cancer survivor and witnessed her pure joy as she crossed the finish lineand celebrated with her friends and family. She was my inspiration for thisdesign. I’ve left the runner’s hair blank as cancer does not discriminate, andchemo usually changes a hairstyle. I will color curly hair on my t-shirt in honorof my sister, Shari, a survivor.”

2007 Artist: Kim Olmsted

Kim said, “I drew this woman, with the impossibly high kick, in a frivolousmoment. It’s how I like to feel at the end of a race: strong, spirited and withenough 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 raiseour 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 shecreated this design. She was reminded of the fight against breast cancer whenshe admired the sunflowers standing so tall, proud, and bright throughout thesummer, and then again when they provided seeds for the birds in the fall. Thefemale runner is wearing the pink breast cancer awareness bracelets and herhands 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 madein the race for a cure. One of them is embellished with a pink ribbon to keepbreast cancer awareness front and center. Forget-me-nots are tucked amongthe rocks to honor those we’ve lost.

2004 Artist: Karen Daugherty

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

2003 Artist: Deb Essex

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

2002 Artist: Douglas Girard

Conceived by board member Kathy Wisthof who was inspired by the popular tshirtquilts, the design showcases the first nine race designs and celebrates the10th annual AKRFW and the milestone of passing $1 million raised in the fightagainst breast cancer.

2001 Artist: Karen Daugherty

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

2000 Artist: Kim Olmsted

When creating her fifth AKRFW design, Kim said, “The phoenix — rising fromthe ashes to begin a new life — seemed a spot-on metaphor for breast cancersurvivors 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 theindividuality of the participants. Suzanne said, “I am one of the pink hattedsurvivors! I hope you will be able to find that you are in here. There was athank 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 runnersand walkers. The blue heart between the ribbons represent loved ones we have lost. The small white heart represents the strength and love among supportersand 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 trimmedforget-me-nots for them in her design. She said, “The shadowed runner,strong, focused and yet emotionally drained, represents how many of us dealwith situations out of our control. We have to move on. As we all run in thisevent, may we celebrate our health and our ability to better cope with theworld 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 comfortingtheir 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 ofwomen when they act together. For this reason my design features four womenrunning in unison. Their bodies are abstract with slight references to hair sothat we may all find a place in this advancing line. The figures are strong, as weare in our most courageous battles. They are also colorful, as we often are attimes of great joy. Faces to the wind, these women move together, to celebratesuccess or support one another in defeat. I have no doubt each of us willencounter great losses, but together, our shared loss becomes ourunderstanding, our shared support becomes our strength.”

1993 Artist: Terri Pauls

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