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Hot Race Celebrates 50th Anniversary Arctic Refuge

Nearly 200 runners at the Annual Run for the Refuge raced 5 or 10k to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in record high 91°F -- the warmest for late August in 100 years.

Hot Race Celebrates 50th Anniversary Arctic Refuge

Race Winners! Wendy Sailors-Johnson, Dylan Nixon-Helms, Christina Turman, Jason Walker. Photo by Laenne Thompson.

Over 200 runners and volunteers sweated in record high 91°F heat at the Run for the Refuge -- a fun, community-oriented celebration of the protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).  Check out the Slide Show!

The winner of the 5k race for women was Christina Turman, 22, and for men, Jason Walker, 32.  In the 10k race, Wendy Sailors-Johnson, 41 took the women's race, and Dylan Nixon-Helms, 17 won the men’s division.  Click Here for Full Race Results.

188 runners and walkers from 4 to 82 years old joined the 5 &10K race through the boreal forest at University of Alaska ski trails on Sunday, August 15. Extra water stations were needed due to the warmest temperatures for this late in August that have been recorded in the last 100 years.

The race this year was dedicated to Fairbanks conservationist Virgina “Ginny” Wood, 92, who earlier in the week had received the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Citizen’s Award for her Alaskan conservation vision and accomplishments, starting with establishment of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The race celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Arctic Refuge, set aside on December 6, 1960 by President Eisenhower to preserve wildlife and wilderness on an ecosystem scale. The Arctic Refuge comprises a great wilderness that during every season supports diverse and thriving populations of plants and animals that call this place home.  The coastal plain has vital caribou birthing and nursery grounds, polar bear dens, and migratory bird nests.  The Refuge has immeasurable ecological and cultural values, especially to the Gwich’in and Inupiat people have relied on the area for sustenance and culture for thousands of years.  The Refuge also supports a prosperous and sustainable economy of ecotourism, guided hunting, recreation, and is a scientific benchmark in a time of rapid climate change.

The race brought together Fairbanks’ diverse citizens and businesses in celebration of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and many special, protected, and wild places.  This year’s record number of runners was a proper Fairbanks launch to the 50th Arctic Refuge Anniversary.


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