Juneau resident Quinn Tracy tags Father Brown’s Cross to receive his time from Juneau Trail and Road Runners volunteers. Tracy won the virtual race in 2021. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Juneau resident Quinn Tracy tags Father Brown’s Cross to receive his time from Juneau Trail and Road Runners volunteers. Tracy won the virtual race in 2021. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

The Mount Roberts Trail Race returns in-person and in-style

They’re running up that hill.

The Goldbelt Tram Mount Roberts Trail Run returned at 9 a.m. Saturday. with in-person racing after a three-year absence. The race continued during those prior years, but only virtually. Race director Linda Kruger said the in-person return was both an exciting time and well overdue.

“This is the first time we’re back in person since COVID. We had two years of virtual races, so we kept it going but only virtually, so this is the first time in the last three years that we’re back, I’m really excited about it,” said Kruger.

Starting at the Mount Roberts Lower Tram parking lot, the nearly 3.5-mile race ran alongside the Basin Road trailhead and up 1,800 feet along the Mount Roberts Trail, ending at the Father Brown’s Cross where each racer had to officially touch the cross to then receive their times by volunteers standing by.

Refreshments were provided for the runners and prizes awarded for the first-place racer. This year’s winner was Seth Rutt, coming in at 35 minutes and 46 seconds. This wasn’t Rutt’s first time attending the Mount Roberts race and because of that, he said he was confident he could come in under 40 minutes.

“It was great, a nice and cool day. It’s a much better temperature than what it was last week. I did this back in maybe 2018, I don’t live here, I’m from Wyoming but we’re often out here to visit, my wife is from Juneau and so I came out in 2018 and I know I was under 40 (minutes) so I figured I could do well if I was under 40,” Rutt said.

Rutt will also have his name engraved onto the Mount Roberts Tram Run trophy. Coming in shortly after Rutt was Matt Beedle coming in at 38:45.

Quinn Tracy who won the virtual race in 2021 said even though there were few surprises as it’s a race he’s well familiar with, it felt great to be back in person with everyone else involved.

“I was pretty much right on the minute that I was expecting to come in on, I do this trail quite a bit so I kind of know what to expect. I’ve done two live races and then one virtual, it’s great to be back,” said Tracy.

Even for those who might not have hit their targeted time, it was still a fun time had by all, as Juneau resident Jennifer Loesch stated, what matters most is just being involved.

“It was great, a lot of fun, this is always a good one. I live here (in Juneau) so I’ve done this race every year that I can. I was hoping to make it in under an hour, but COVID got me in May so I’m still recovering, so my lungs aren’t quite back but I did it. It’s most important to participate and finish,” said Loesch.

Past race winners include Sadie Tuckwood and Allan Spangler (2019), Cindy Tuckwood and Allan Spangler (2018), Amie Spieth and Joshua Musson (2017), Alyssa Shaw and Hiram Henry (2016), Heidi Brook and Geoff Roes (2015), Melanie Fairbanks and Jeffrey Early (2014), Laura Fox and Allan Spangler (2013), Karlynn Welling and Houston Laws (2012), Melanie Fairbanks and Houston Laws (2011), Janeann Twelker and Tristan Knutson-Lombardo (2010), Abby Lowell and Scott May (2009), Janeann Twelker and Geoff Roes (2008), Janeann Twelker with Geoff Roes and Keith Larson in a tie result (2007), Brea Mearig and John Bursell (2006), and Joann Quigg and John Bursell (2005).

The race was hosted by Juneau Trail and Road Runners and earns points toward the Nugget Alaskan Outfitter Cup. The race was also sponsored by Goldbelt Mount Robert’s Tram as they provided tram passes, water, and snacks for the runners.

“They are an amazing partner. We appreciate being able to work with them to make this race happen,” said Kruger.

• Contact Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

This photo shows Jennifer Loesch after completing the race and receiving her time from volunteers. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

This photo shows Jennifer Loesch after completing the race and receiving her time from volunteers. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Racers gather around after completing the Mount Roberts Trail Race. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Racers gather around after completing the Mount Roberts Trail Race. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Racers pause to catch their breaths after completing the nearly 3.5-mile race up Mount Roberts. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Racers pause to catch their breaths after completing the nearly 3.5-mile race up Mount Roberts. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)