We are saddened to report that Gail Bakken-Johnson, one of the founders of the Equinox Marathon, died Saturday in Anchorage. She was 74.
Bakken-Johnson was instrumental in creating the original trail in 1963 with her then boyfriend, Nat Goodhue, and UAF ski coach Jim Mahaffey.
Bakken-Johnson won the inaugural women's race and completed six full Equinox marathons and the relay twice. She last attended the Equinox in 2010, when she received a special "Founders' Award."
The Equinox was like a holiday for Bakken-Johnson, who was diagnosed with plasma cell leukemia in 2014.
"You have Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter and the Fourth of July," Bakken said. "And the Equinox."