Naomi Figley crosses the finish line of the Juneau Marathon and Half Marathon with her stepsons Audria and Andrew Watkins, 8, at Savikko Park on Saturday, July 27, 2019. The running event attracted over 200 runners, the vast majority of which were half marathoners. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

Naomi Figley crosses the finish line of the Juneau Marathon and Half Marathon with her stepsons Audria and Andrew Watkins, 8, at Savikko Park on Saturday, July 27, 2019. The running event attracted over 200 runners, the vast majority of which were half marathoners. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

From revelers, to out-of-towners, to those in recovery, Juneau Marathon draws diverse crowd

Spangler, Smith take marathon crowns

Allan Spangler showed no signs of fatigue in the Juneau Marathon and Half Marathon on Saturday in Douglas.

Spangler, who won the grueling Juneau Ridge Race last weekend, claimed the marathon title with a time of 2 hours, 37 minutes, 32 seconds. Second place went to Daniel Ray (3:10:08) and third place went to Grant Werthman (3:14:51). Sadie Smith, 40, won the women’s race in 3:33:15.

“This is a good marathon, it’s so hilly,” said Spangler, a past winner of the Equinox Marathon in Fairbanks. “You’re just constantly going up or down. Nothing too crazy huge, but it just never stops which is kind of nice because I’ve been running on the trails so much which tends to be hillier. If you’re running something really flat, that can be really painful as well.”

In the half marathon, Matthew Morse won the men’s race in 1:14:49, and Katie Krehlik won the women’s race in 1:40:15.

For Krehlik and so many others who braved the 26.2- and 13.1-mile races, the event was about so much more than just running. She flew in from Anchorage to celebrate Buck’s 36th birthday, and the two decided ahead of time to squeeze in a half marathon while they’re in town. Krehlik wanted to help her older sister set a new personal record, so purposely slowed down and ran with her the entire time, while keeping her entertained with “a bunch of facts.”

“She got a four-minute PR,” Krehlik said with a big smile. “She’s amazing.”

Arriving later on in Savikko Park was Rick Carter and Naomi Figley. The half marathon for them represented the advancement toward personal goals.

Carter, who finished 30th overall and second in the men’s 60-and-over division, has run close to 50 half marathons. The Wisconsin resident wants to run a half marathon in all 50 states, and now is down to just eight states.

“It’s gorgeous,” Carter said of Alaska.

Crossing the finish line 40 minutes later was Figley, who was joined by stepsons Audria and Andrew Watkins as she conquered her first-ever half marathon. Figley wore a black T-shirt bearing the message, “This Is What Recovery Looks Like.” Figley said running has helped her in her recovery from substance use, and her eventual goal is to complete a full marathon.

“It’s a way to process stress and difficult emotions and a healthier way for me to get out any kind of challenging feelings so that substances don’t have to be the option,” she said.

Over 230 runners came out for the two races, which traveled along the Douglas and North Douglas highways. The marathon began at 8 a.m. and the half marathon began at 9 a.m.

For full marathon results, head to jtrr.org/event/2019/race/628/results/1198. For full half marathon results, head to jtrr.org/event/2019/race/628/results/1199.

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