June 122021

Days to Race248

Race Week Details: June 20-27, 2020

Why Go Virtual?

There is unity in community! For the Alaska Run for Women, that means in 2020 we stay apart so we can play a part in the fight against breast cancer – that’s why we are going virtual!

With the health and safety in mind of all participants, we are still committed to supporting our mission of breast cancer awareness, education, research and prevention. While we may be virtual this year, there is nothing virtual about breast cancer. Thanks to our runners and walkers, and our donors, we will continue our grant awards program in 2020.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, and to show our support we are celebrating in a variety of fun ways for 8 days from June 20-27!
Download Your Guide to the 2020 Virtual Alaska Run for Women here. All the information you need at your fingertips.

What Is a Virtual Run/Walk?

A virtual race means running or walking from any location you choose at any time during the event dates from June 20-27. Run or walk on the trail, the treadmill, on a track or wherever you choose (following local and state mandates and distancing guidelines). Your choice, your time, your race. Run in Alaska or have friends and family from anywhere across the US register and join the fun.

Where can I run/walk?
Wherever you choose, but you must follow local and state mandates and distancing guidelines in place at the time of your event and follow all rules of the roads, trails or venues you run/walk in.

Do I have to complete the distance all at one time?
This is your event. Set your own goal and go out and accomplish it! That can be completing the distance in one segment or breaking it up into multiple segments.

Will the event be timed?
This year is an untimed 5-mile or 1-mile run/walk. All levels of walkers, runners and joggers are welcome.

How will people know I’m in the virtual run?
Your registration comes with a downloadable bib and back tags that you can wear on the day you participate.

Can I do something other than running or walking?
Our event insurance requires participation be either running or walking.

Rules and Safety

  • Participants must follow local and state mandates in place at the time of the run (i.e. shelter in place orders, social distancing, face covering requirements, etc). 
  • Participants will only participate if medically able and properly trained.
  • Participants must follow all pedestrian safety ordinances including running on a sidewalk, multi-use trail, or running track where available and not in the road. Additionally, participants must follow the rules of the road if no sidewalk, multi-use trail, or running track is available and run against oncoming traffic and not with traffic. 
  • Participants must agree to abide by any decision of race officials relative to any aspect of her participation in this virtual event. 
  • Participants agree to not use the usual AKRFW race day course as this is not pedestrian safe without the usual road closures and police escorts. 

Why Should I Register?

  • Make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. Every dollar you donate when you register goes directly to the fight against breast cancer. The Alaska Run for Women has granted over $4.9 million in the past 27 years and supported thousands of mammograms for uninsured or underinsured women throughout Alaska.
  • Show your support for those who have been touched by breast cancer in some way: a loved one, a friend, a neighbor, or that person you have never met. 
  • To have a great time! The event week will be filled with fun challenges and ways for you to show your support for the fight against breast cancer.
  • Registration incentives:
    1. Every participant will be entered in a drawing to win one of these great prizes: One of two trips for 2 to Maui on Alaska Airlines with a 3-night stay at Ho’oilo House (Winners: Kim Ford, Eagle River and Suzanne Niemi, Anchorage) or a one-year Gold Family Membership to The Alaska Club (Winner: Nancy Schultz, Anchorage)!
    2. The first 350 people to register and donate a minimum of $25 will receive a pink fandana (buff, headband, face covering). The 350 giveaway fandanas have been claimed, but there are more for sale in the online store!
    3. Everybody who registers and donates a minimum of $25 will be entered in a drawing to win either a white spruce or a paper birch tree, all good in Alaska. Trees are 2-3 ft in height and ready to plant.

How Do I Create or Join a Team?

  • Team captains can create a team online. Share the team name with women you want to invite from Alaska and across the country.
  • Once a team is created, teammates can join the team by registering individually and noting the team name. 
  • Five or more women make a team – the more the merrier!
  • Team awards will be given for: Most Money Raised and Largest Team.
  • Read more “Helpful Team Tips” here

How Will This Be Like Past AKRFW Events?

While we cannot experience all of the fun of race day together in one place we are bringing much of the event to participants and the community virtually. Look for the schedule of virtual events and challenges throughout the weeks leading up to and during race week. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and check your email for regular newsletter updates. Virtual events will include:

  • Alaska Run for Women virtual start line on Facebook on June 20 including many of the fun things you know and love from the event: race kick off by our 2020 honorary starter, music and fun from Mark and April with 98.9, a warmup video with Kikkan Randall and more; see full schedule of week’s events here
  • Merchandise sales
  • Downloadable bibs and back tags to show your support of those you are running in honor or memory of
  • Music from those great bands you hear on the course each year
  • An interactive digital Race booklet with offers from our generous donors and race information
  • Virtual finish line event on Facebook on June 27 including a Zumba workout and door prize drawings

Will There Be Run Merchandise?

  • Official 2020 Alaska Run for Women merchandise is available by order here.  Orders will be available for pickup on June 18 from 4-7pm at The Alaska Club West. For those who chose not to pick up, orders will be shipped. 
  • Every item purchased helps support the fight against breast cancer. 

Where in the World Is PeaRL?

Show us how the Alaska Run for Women inspires you to kick it into high gear for your health.

Download and take PeaRL on all of your adventures – the treadmill, walking your neighborhood, trail running or wherever— give it your best shot. PeaRL is ready to travel and would love to visit all 50 states. Post your photos of PeaRL’s adventures on your Facebook page or Instagram and tag @alaskarunforwomen #akrfw2020, you might win a prize! Winners: Sue Wemyss (Mt. Washington, NH); Darlene Kearney (Point MacKenzie, AK)

Fun fact: PeaRL (Pink Running Lady) was created by Kim Olmsted for our 2007 race design. We loved her so much, she became our business logo! In 2020, Kevin Hall added a mask and created the Where in the World Is PeaRL? game. We’ve seen her all over the country!

2020 Honorary Race Starter – Lori Ambruz Deschamps

It is an honor to have one of Alaska’s premier athletes as our honorary starter. Born and raised in Anchorage, Lori is a proud alumni of Scenic Park Elementary, Wendler Middle School, East High School (1989), and the University of Alaska, Anchorage (Elementary Education). She discovered her love of team sports at an early age, playing competitive soccer from dawn til dusk. It wasn’t until her early 30s, after years of playing on soccer and hockey teams, she learned to swim, embraced track workouts with her friend, Kristi Waythomas, and bought a road bike. She was on her way!

In 2003, she surprised herself and everybody around her when she won her first triathlon. She beat Kikkan Randall by two seconds in the Gold Nugget Triathlon! Her love for triathlons continued to grow as she competed locally and at out-of-state races. She said 2007 was one of her strongest years. She won the Gold Nugget Triathlon; was named Alaska’s Triathlete of the Year; represented Alaska in the Best of the U.S. Triathlon; placed in the top 5 at USAT Nationals in Oregon; and was ranked first in her age group in the Nation for U.S.A. standings. In 2008 she once again won the Gold Nugget, and in 2009 set the Bike for Women course record with a time of 22:42.

Lori and her husband, Garnet, live in Anchorage and have two sons, Ryder, 15, and Colby, 10. When she had Ryder in 2005, she said she wasn’t an Olympian, but she could juggle work, training, and nursing a child at rapid speed.

The natural trajectory of an aging athlete includes slowing down and Lori said she is no exception. She continues to participate in races all over the country, “not to win, but to live.” She does not keep stats or data of her races, but there is one date she won’t forget – September 9, 2019. She was officially diagnosed with breast cancer on that day. She said it was also the day she would meet her new teammates, the Breast Cancer Sisterhood – a group of warriors she never strived to be part of, but has embraced the bond they share.

Congratulations to Winners of Prizes and Awards

Click here for a list of prize and award winners: 2020 RFW Prizes