Emma Fellman, 11, rides in the Douglas Dirt Derby on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018 at Savikko Park in Douglas. Fellman finished second in her age group, and the event raised about $6,000 for the American Diabetes Association. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Emma Fellman, 11, rides in the Douglas Dirt Derby on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018 at Savikko Park in Douglas. Fellman finished second in her age group, and the event raised about $6,000 for the American Diabetes Association. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Children race through Savikko Park for good cause

Douglas Dirt Derby raises money for diabetes prevention

Reed Maier led for the whole time in the final race of Saturday’s Douglas Dirt Derby. Even as he crossed the finish line, though, he wasn’t quite ready to celebrate.

“I was just thinking, ‘I really hope no one passed me when I was not looking or something,’” Maier, 11, said. “But no one did.”

Saturday’s event, which was a fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association, featured three competitive races and one fun ride through Savikko Park. Maier won the race for riders ages 10 and 11. Logan Fellman, 9, won the race for riders ages 8 and 9. Henry Maier, 7, won the race for riders ages 5-7.

Marc Wheeler, the event organizer, said it raised about $6,000 for ADA, mostly through sponsors. The fee to enter the race was kept to $5 per rider, Wheeler said, to try to encourage more people to ride. This is the first year the event has happened, Wheeler said.

The event was sponsored in part by the Juneau Radio Center, KTOO, Bartlett Regional Hospital, University of Alaska Southeast, Rainforest Pediatric Care, Alaska Litho, Foggy Mountain Shop, Cycle Alaska, Flying Squirrel Espresso, the Douglas Fourth of July Committee and Coppa.

The racers gathered afterward for a brief awards ceremony where they claimed prizes including Coppa gift cards, a comic book from Alaska Robotics, Mount Roberts Tramway passes and more. Reed Maier held his Coppa gift card after the race, still smiling from his victory.

“It feels great,” he said.


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


Reed Maier, 11, approaches the finish line with a smile at the Douglas Dirt Derby on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018 at Savikko Park in Douglas. Maier finished first in his age group, and the event raised $6,000 for the American Diabetes Association. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Reed Maier, 11, approaches the finish line with a smile at the Douglas Dirt Derby on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018 at Savikko Park in Douglas. Maier finished first in his age group, and the event raised $6,000 for the American Diabetes Association. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Reed Maier, 11, rides while younger racers watch at the Douglas Dirt Derby on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018 at Savikko Park in Douglas. Maier finished first in his age group, and the event raised $6,000 for the American Diabetes Association. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Reed Maier, 11, rides while younger racers watch at the Douglas Dirt Derby on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018 at Savikko Park in Douglas. Maier finished first in his age group, and the event raised $6,000 for the American Diabetes Association. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

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