The Glenn Frick Memorial Mile brought out a wide spectrum of ages, this year from 5 to 81.
The short distance makes it suitable those under the age of 10, and the lively atmosphere gives those much older a worthwhile experience.
This all fits well with the namesake of the race, Glenn Frick, whose death six years ago left a lasting hole in the Juneau running community. Frick supported youth activities just as much as he remained active himself.
“I have three boys and two girls and they all ran and did all kinds of sports,” Julie Frick, Glenn’s widow who watched the race, said. “So he started there, coached, did all those kind of things and then he got into running. When he first started running here in Juneau, he was running in his jeans and Juneau boots and he and his brother used to run to the glacier. When they’d see a car come, they’d stop and walk because they were figuring that somebody would think they were running away from something.”
Over 80 racers participated in the annual Fourth of July race this year. Starting on Egan Drive behind Foodland IGA, runners make a quick loop on Front and Franklin streets before finishing outside the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel.
Riley Moser, Josh Musson, Alec Nevalainen and Dylan Anthony set the pace this year. Nevalainen hung with the group until about the halfway point, when the other three started to move up. Moser finished first in 4 minutes, 33 seconds, breaking the old course record set by Zack Bursell last year by two seconds.
“Most the people running this, I feel like there’s no training, you just go out and do it,” Moser said at the finish line.
Anthony and Musson finished in a virtual tie for second place in 4:39, and Nevalainen finished behind them in 4:49. Beth Gollin won the women’s title for the second year in a row and finished 13th overall. Gollin’s time was 5:30.
Moser, 22, is a recent graduate from Western Colorado University, where he was a member of the school’s trail running team. Moser, who is from Juneau, said he’s looking forward to reintegrating himself into his hometown’s running circles.
“I’ve been down in Colorado for the last four years and I would say that Juneau’s running community is a model community for how I wish all the running communities,” Moser said. “People don’t have their smart watches on, they just run.”
Nevalainen said his goal every year is to finish in under five minutes. Since competing in the inaugural race six years ago, the 45-year-old has been able to meet that goal every year, even if he’s not first to the finish line. Nevalainen said he hears stories of Frick from community members and knows he’s a big draw for event.
“Everyone seems to come out for it, because everyone knew Glenn in some way,” Nevalainen said. “I didn’t know him so well, but when you see his name attached to it, it just makes it a little more special.”
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.