Homer Alaska - Outdoors

Story last updated at 1:42 PM on Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Annual Spit Run scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Saturday

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff writer

It isn't too late to register for the certified 10K, 6.2-mile Spit Run happening this Saturday.

"Just by word of mouth, I feel like a lot of people are getting pretty excited," said Mike Illg, coordinator of the city of Homer Community Recreation Program, one of the event sponsors. Other sponsors include the Kachemak Bay Running Club, South Peninsula Hospital and the Homer News. "I just got a call from someone on the USCGC Hickory. The ship wasn't scheduled to be in port, but now it is, so we might even get some of those guys to participate."

A suggested donation of $10 benefits Homer High School's cross-country running and track and field programs. Online registration was available through Wednesday. Today and Friday it can be done at the Community Recreation Office in the Homer High School commons between noon-8 p.m. today and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday. Race-day check-in is from 8:30-9:45 a.m. The race begins in the Homer High School parking lot at 10 a.m. and finishes near the end of the Spit.

"Registration forms will be outside the office on Friday because I'll be out and about gathering stuff for the race," said Illg. "This is a huge endeavor."

Part of that endeavor is coordinating with other activities on Saturday.

"We know there'll be a lot of traffic at the end of the Spit because a cruise ship is coming in so we are certainly trying to take every precaution to make sure everyone is safe," said Illg.

As in past years, the Spit Run is scheduled to coincide with the Homer Yacht Club's regatta, which begins off the tip of the Spit. Runners can catch their breath, enjoy a lunch on the deck of Land's End Resort — with a menu offering special discounts for runners with race bibs — and watch the start of the two-day sailing event.

Volunteers will help direct runners and traffic and keep aid stations operating, one at Adventure Alaska Car Rental on Ocean Drive and one at the Kevin Bell Ice Arena on the Spit. Porta-potties aren't provided specifically for the race; however, there is one at Mariner Park near the base of the Spit and restrooms are available at the Fishing Hole and near the Homer Harbor.

Prizes of $100 gift certificates for Homer Saw and Cycle are being provided by South Peninsula Hospital to the winning male and female runners. Each runner will receive a Spit Run sticker.

"People have asked about shirts, but we don't have the budget for that," said Illg.

Results will be posted immediately following the race at Land's End Resort. Online results will be available at www.homernews.com and www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/recreation.

"The biggest thing is emphasizing participants be aware of safety on the road," said Illg. "Run against traffic and, of course, when you get down to the end of the Spit, be mindful of others."

Shuttle buses will be available to return runners to vehicles left at Homer High.

In 2011, more than 200 runners registered for the Spit Run from 17 Alaska communities and 13 other states. They ranged in age from 3 to 80. Nicolas Petro, 20, of Michigan ran the course in a winning time of 33 minutes, 47 seconds. The first female finisher was 32-year-old Heather Gaines of Kenai who finished 11th overall in a time of 42:08.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.