Story last updated at 9/23/2009 - 1:43 pm
SITKA - It's time to dig your Xtratufs out of the closet and get them painted up. The 15th annual Running of the Boots takes place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Crescent Harbor shelter.
The Running of the Boots is part of the second annual Season's End Celebration, an event sponsored by the Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Cruise Association that includes a free lunch for Sitka residents. The chamber's board donates money raised by the Running of the Boots to the Sitka Local Foods Network, the non-profit group that hosts the Sitka Farmers Market and advocates for community gardens, a community greenhouse, sustainable uses of traditional subsistence foods and education for Sitka gardeners.
The Running of the Boots is Southeast Alaska's answer to Spain's "Running of the Bulls." But unlike the Pamplona spectacle, humans do the running in Sitka and they wear zany costumes and Xtratufs ("Sitka Sneakers").
The Running of the Boots is a short race for fun and not for speed, even though one of the many prize categories is for the fastest boots. Categories include best-dressed boots, zaniest costume, best couple, best kids group and many others. The course includes a loop around St. Michael's Cathedral before returning to Crescent Harbor for families with children, or a run from Crescent Harbor to the corner of Katlian and Lincoln streets and back for Sitka's hardier souls.
The entry fee for the Running of the Boots is $5 per person and $20 per family, and people can register for the race starting at 10 a.m. There is a lip synch contest after the race, which costs $10 to enter.
For details about the event, contact Kerry MacLane at firstname.lastname@example.org or 752-0654.
Learn more about the race at http://www.runningoftheboots.org/ and about the Sitka Local Foods Network at http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/.