Alaska and the penguin
Monday, August 22, 2011
A Great Alaskan Marathon Cruise
Have cruised in the Caribbean and while I love to cruise was not sure that I wanted to cruise to Alaska. My husband on the other hand wanted to cruise to Alaska and saw the ad in Runner’s World for the John Bingham running cruise to Alaska. He knew I was a fan of the Penguin and felt it would be a cruise we both would enjoy. I thought about it for over a year and convinced my running partner, Julia that it was a great idea.
We flew to Seattle in July and got up early on Saturday and ran the hills around our hotel before heading to the cruise terminal. Spent the first night drinking champagne with the penguin, coach Jenny and the other cruisers. Each night we ate dinner with a different group of runners.
Sunday’s run was a 3 mile deck run, if you have never run on a moving ship it is really fun and we did have an ERC road marshal keeping the traffic in control.
Monday in Juneau we did a 10 mile trail run, 5 miles up Mt. Juneau and 5 miles down. Tuesday was a rest day to see Hubbard glacier, I for one was glad there was a rest day.
Wednesday was a 6.2 mile run in Sitka, Alaska, we were given a map and needed to have our race bib marked when we found each place on the map. Julia managed to get the ace of spades and won a yellow hat.
Thursday was a 7 mile trail run in Ketchikan and was my favorite run of the trip. The temperature was 52 degrees each day and it rained every day that we were there. The scenery was beautiful and the Alaskan running clubs that put on our races were great just like the runners from ERC. I was surprised that not all the runners on the cruise were penguins like me, there was a women who had run 109 marathons and some runners who were very fast. As someone who has never been an athlete; John Bingham has inspired me to find ways to enjoy running even though I will never be fast and will never win anything. The Penguin named himself after he caught sight of himself in a store window and realized he was waddling. In his words, “"It wasn't turtley," he says. "There was an effort about it"--a hectic flailing to outrun the body God had given him”. He was so nice and almost seems surprised by the effect that he has to inspire people. He also does the same type of cruise in the Caribbean and this September is doing a running land tour in Italy. Maybe we will want to visit Italy next year, we have not been there yet!