Runners pound up Fish Creek Road towards the ski area during the Eaglecrest Road and Ridge Race on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Runners pound up Fish Creek Road towards the ski area during the Eaglecrest Road and Ridge Race on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Up with the sun: runners tackle Eaglecrest

Onward and upward, up the rising road.

Dozens of runners ran the Eaglecrest Road and Ridge Race Saturday morning, running up Fish Creek Road to the ski area.

Hiram Henry placed first in the 9-miler, Erik Thompson placed first in the 5-miler and Kevin McKee led the 1-miler.

“In the past we used the mountain bike trails to make a loop but that wasn’t possible this year due to too much snow,” said race director Tom Meyer in an interview. “This year were were able to schedule it close to when we usually do it in late June.”

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The Juneau Ridge Race, which occurred last weekend, displaced the Eaglecrest Road and Ridge Race to this weekend, Meyer said. Attendance from the race is somewhat down this year from last year’s iteration of the decades-old race, which was run in September due pandemic conditions. The race has been an annual event for at least 30 years, Meyer said, though the ridge component is relatively recent, instituted within the last decade.

One-miler finisher tags adorn the board for the Eaglecrest Road and Ridge Race on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

One-miler finisher tags adorn the board for the Eaglecrest Road and Ridge Race on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

“Last year we had horrible conditions but a much larger turnout,” Meyer said. “We’ve got more pavement runners this year than people running the ridge.”

John Nagle helped chart the revised ridge race, Meyer said, which came in between 9 and 10 miles as opposed to the standard ten-mile distance.

Runners race off the starting line during the Eaglecrest Road and Ridge Race on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Runners race off the starting line during the Eaglecrest Road and Ridge Race on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Thompson, a first-time Eaglecrest Road and Ridge runner, led the 5-milers from the starting line on Fish Creek Road near the turnoff from Douglas Highway up to the parking lot of the ski area, more than a thousand feet of vertical gain.

“It wasn’t as steep as I thought it’d be,” Thompson said in an interview.

Runners pound up Fish Creek Road towards the ski area during the Eaglecrest Road and Ridge Race on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Runners pound up Fish Creek Road towards the ski area during the Eaglecrest Road and Ridge Race on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Thompson also expressed incipient discomfort from the race, which he finished with a time of 38 minutes and 26 seconds.

“I’m about to be really sore,” Thompson said.

Henry finished the 9-miler at 1:37:03, while McKee finished the 1-miler at 10:46.

Erik Thompson, who placed first in the five-mile portion of the Eaglecrest Road and Ridge Race races in to the finish in the ski area’s parking lot on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Erik Thompson, who placed first in the five-mile portion of the Eaglecrest Road and Ridge Race races in to the finish in the ski area’s parking lot on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

Addison Field, left, cheers for Geneva Peters as she sprints in to the finish during the Eaglecrest Road and Ridge Race on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Addison Field, left, cheers for Geneva Peters as she sprints in to the finish during the Eaglecrest Road and Ridge Race on July 2, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)