The relay, a fundraiser for the Sport Yukon Organization, challenges participants to complete anywhere from a six to 16km relay leg.
photo courtesy of Charity Platt Tara Jeans, right, of team "Fast Women: and We Run Too," finishes the ninth leg of a past Klondike Road Relay and hands off to Maren Haavig, who runs the final leg.
"The committee decided to engage youth in order to bring in new participants." Race Director Trevor Twardochleb, said. "In order to incorporate more youth, there will be shorter races that just include certain legs."
Twardochleb said he hopes to introduce youth to the relay, but he is keeping their developmental needs in mind by limiting youth legs to 10km or less. One of the goals is to bring new runners to the popular repeat race. Many who attend the relay are return runners.
Charity Platt, of Juneau, has participated seven times with her team "Fast Women: and We Run Too" and plans to run again this fall. Platt will be running the eighth leg of the race and said her personal goal is to eventually run every leg.
"I prefer the night legs," Platt said. "I like to be out in the dark, running at some absurd time with my girlfriends cheering me on."
Platt said her team runs for the challenge and the fun of the race, while their sister team, "Hard Women are Good to Find," is a bit more competitive. In 2007, "Hard Women are Good to Find" took first place in the women's category.
Twardochleb said teams enter the race for different reasons.
"Some come for the challenge, others as a summer wrap up, and some just to get out of the rain," he said. "Really, about 65 percent of the runners come from Alaska, and many of those are from Juneau."
For some, the award ceremony is as much a part of the event as the race.
"After spending the whole night running we get showered, go to dinner at Giorgios, then go to the dance and work out the lactic acid," Platt said. "It's like a workout weekend."
Medals are given for the winners in each category and a plaque goes to the fastest man and fastest woman in each leg of the race. After awards are handed out, runners dance through the night.
"I don't know how they run so far and then dance all night, but they always do," Twardochleb said.
Interested teams can register and find more information online at www.klondikeroadrelay.com/race2/