SERR racing season begins Monday with clinic

Posted: Friday, February 04, 2000

The Southeast Road Runners opened its 2000 race season (after the January 1 New Year's Day Resolution Run, of course) with a race director's clinic at the Juneau Racquet Club Monday.

This popular organization would be brought to its knees without the dedication and hard work of its Race Directors and other race volunteers. Although several of the directors have organized their race for many years, there are several new directors in 2000 and SERR is dependent on the experienced directors to mentor and provide sage advice to the new ones.

The Southeast Road Runners (SERR) is a group of dedicated runners in and around Juneau. The club strives to represent the entire Juneau running community - young and old, women and men, girls and boys - by organizing races and fun runs suitable for all ages and abilities. SERR also schedules training seminars and clinics that give participants new insight into training, racing and having fun with their running. The club monthly newsletter, ``Running at the Mouth,'' keeps club members up to date on the latest training tips and events.

SERR has a very full race calendar - the schedule has been made and it follows an old American theme, more is better. Over 30 races are scheduled throughout the year. While all of the old favorites are back (Douglas Two- Mile, May Day Mud Run, Magnificent Mud Puddle Meet, Flannagan's Run, Sweetheart Relay, Frank Maier Marathon and Half-Marathon, etc), a variety of new races have been added to the mix. The Mount Juneau Run will be back after a successful first run last year. New to the schedule are two duathlons - run, bike, run - which are exciting events that will be put on with the Juneau Freewheelers. After 11 years, the annual Ken Humphreys Memorial Run has been retired. In its place will be the Midsummer Race with 5K and 10K courses.

Races in Juneau have a history long before SERR became a club in 1987. Juneau's oldest race is probably the Douglas Two-Mile, first run on the 4th of July in 1952 or 1953. Ten runners lined up shoulder to shoulder in Douglas and ran to the Bill Ray Center. John Jensen remembers it vividly. He was a bit nervous and took a tablespoon of honey right before the race for a hopeful edge. He remembers catching the lead runner at the top of the bridge and then the crowds cheering as they neared the finish line neck and neck. The honey must have worked because John won the race.

Not many runners in the 60's anymore. Glenn Frick just about started the running 'craze' in Juneau, along with Guy Thibodeau. The Taku Striders, a men's soccer team, took their athletic abilities to the road and put on many races - time trials, Mother's Day runs. They eventually put together a Klondike International Road Relay team.

Except for last year, the Magnificent Mud Puddle Meet has been run continously since 1977. This course still follows the same 10 miles around the Loop Rd. The May Day Mud Run was first run in 1981 after John Engel's novel idea for a concert promotion - Queen Ida coming to town for zydeco/cajun. What better way to draw concert goers? And if that wasn't enough to bring you out for a muddy crossing of the Gastineau Channel, how about the Snowbirds, the Canadian precision flight show?

Later May Day Mud Runs coincided with the Snowbirds' team in Juneau. Probably the funnest thing about this race is that the course isn't set, and it has few rules. Andy Grossman's roadside trek alongside North Douglas Highway to beat Kelly Miller - at one time Juneau's top distance runner - signaled the end of such diversions onto pavement. After that, the May Day Mud Run was limited to the wet and muddy only.

Marathons have been a fixture in Juneau since the 1970s. First started in Juneau by Floyd Strain, marathons have run many a course out by the glacier, flooded out in Dredge Lakes, and on the present course in Douglas. The Governor's Cup is one of the oldest races in town. Former governors Bill Sheffield, Steve Cowper, and Tony Knowles have all competed. How many states can claim that?

As the years passed, SERR followed its runners out onto the trails. The Montana Creek to Windfall Lake Trail Challenge includes encounters with kettle ponds, bogs, and sometimes bears. The Douglas Treadwell Ditch Trail run, and most recently the Mt. Juneau Ridge Run, are meant to be attempted only by experienced runners.

Lots of variety makes for lots of fun. And what a history SERR has! Hope to see you at some races this year, put on by a great group of dedicated Race Directors.

Inquiries into SERR membership and events may be directed to the club president John Bursell, 789-5997or club co-vice presidents, Kim & Tracy Rivera 463-1529.

2000 SERR RACE SCHEDULE Look for announcements of the upcoming races in the Juneau Empires' sports calendar, complete details will be provided.

January 1, Saturday New Year's Day Resolution Run

January 31, Monday SERR Race Directors' Clinic

February 13, Sunday 17th Annual Sweethearts' Relay (two persons) 2mile and 3 mile legs

March 11, Saturday 17th Annual Flannagan's Run, 1 or 5 miles

April 6 & 7, Thursday & Friday JDHS Track & Field Clinic

April 15, Saturday Glacier 10 K Run

May 6 or May 7, Saturday or Sunday, TBA May Day Mud Run

May 13, Saturday Mendenhall Mud Puddle Meet , 10 mile

May 20, Saturday Nugget Alaskan Outfitters Lena Loop Run Run and Kids' Kilometer Fun Run

May 28, Sunday Douglas Treadwell Ditch Trail, 5 miles

June 3, Saturday 9th Annual Sea Coast Relay, 5 legs between 3 and 5 miles each

June 6, Tuesday All Comers Track Meet,various track distances

June 10, Saturday False Outer Point Duathlon, 3 mi run/10 mi bike/3 mi run

June 17, Saturday Kid's Rotary Park Run, 3 distances (0.5 kilometer, 1 kilometer or 1 mile)

June 20, Tuesday All Comers Track Meet

June 23, Friday Only Fools Run at Midnight, 5K or 1-mile walk

(race sponsored by Muscular Dystrophy Association; SERR local coordinators assist)

July 1, Saturday Ben Blackgoat Memorial Perseverance Trail Run, 4 mile run or 7 mile run

July 2, Saturday Mt. Juneau Ridge Run, approximately 15 miles

July 4, Tuesday Douglas Two-Mile Fourth of July Parade Run, 2 miles

July 8, Saturday JRC Governor's Cup Race/Fun, 5 kilometers

July 15, Saturday Windfall Lake Trail Challenge Run, approximately 14 miles

July 18, Tuesday Midsummer Race, 1 mile, 5 kilometers or 10 kilometers

July 22, Saturday Capital City Fish-On Duathlon ,3 mi run/10 mi bike/3 mi run

July 25, Tuesday All Comers Track Meet

July 29, Saturday Mt. Roberts Tram Run, Ascend 1800' on Mt. Robert's Trail

August 5, Saturday Frank Maier Memorial Marathon/Half Marathon

August 12, Saturday Toilsome Twosome Race

August 19, Saturday All Comers Championship Track Meet

August 26, Saturday Eaglecrest Road Race, 1 and 5 miles

September 2, Saturday Beat the Odds Women's Race Against Cancer, 2 mile walk or 5 kilometer run

September 2, Saturday Prostate Cancer Run, 5 K

September 23, Saturday Action Rehab., 10K and 1 mile

October 7, Saturday 10th Annual Coastal Homes Real Estate Race, 5 kilometers or 10 kilometers

November 4, Saturday Veterans' Day 8 K

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