Running in Tom's memory

Posted: Sunday, July 13, 2003

Tom Casey wasn't a full-time resident of Juneau, but his death in a Connecticut kayak accident last fall left a big impression on the local running community.

Casey, a graduate student at Yale who spent summers working in Juneau, was remembered Saturday during the inaugural Tom Casey Memorial Mount Juneau Ridge Run. The 15-mile adventure run covered parts of Perseverance Trail, a climb up Mount Juneau and a run along the mountain ridges until a descent down Granite Creek Basin.

"This was one of his favorite runs," said Dave Pusich, who organized the run for the Southeast Road Runners Club. "We were thinking of him. He was pretty much with us the whole way."

"It was absolutely extraordinary," John Walsh said.

The event was listed as a race, but the 10 men who showed up made it into a non-competitive trail run because of the treacherous nature of the trail and heat. The runners added a swim in Granite Creek, and some looked for Casey's ashes and a pair of his shoes that had been left on the trail earlier this summer.

The runners - Pusich, John Bursell, Michael Powell, Kyle Hebert, Tristan Knutson-Lombardo, Bryce Iverson, Gabe Hayden, Walsh, Guy Thibodeau and Zane Clark - took just over four hours for the trek.

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