Start and Finish -
As most of you know, there has been a huge amount of construction work this summer in the start and finish area, and it is still pretty much of a mess. However we do have a plan - both Plan A and Plan B.
The contractors and the UAF project managers have told us that the SRC field will be graded by close of business on Wednesday. The whole field will be at approximately the same grade as the beluga pad. We are planning on that happening. Based upon a graded field, the start and finish will be very similar to what we have been doing the past few years.
Start - we will start to the north of the SRC/Ice Arena on the field, run across the field, up the ski hill, through the fences, exit the woods above the fences, turn up the hill through the field, and hit the road and turn right.
Finish - we will run down the new ski trail on the hillside below Buttrovich Building, following that trail down to the NW corner of the SRC field. From there we will proceed to the finish on or near what has been the "beluga pad".
If the weather cooperates, as forecast, and it doesn't rain (much) and gets cold at night, the field should be firm enough to hold up even without grass growing on it.
If the field doesn't get graded, or if there is rainfall of biblical proportions, we'll go to Plan B
Start - We will move the start out into the road near the traffic circle on the north end of the Morris Thompson Drive railroad overpass, then run straight up the hillside through the field, with the trees on the right, and join the "old" trail about halfway up the hillside.
Finish - we will come down either the road or the ski trail, then go to the traffic circle, follow the sidewalk toward the Patty Center, then turn left/north on the new sidewalk along the west edge of the Patty Center parking lot, then bend left and finish on the grassy field east of the beluga pad.
We will adjust the starting point as needed to retain our distance, and adjust the turnaround if necessary. If we go to plan "B", miles 1 and 26/26.2 will not be exactly one mile in length, and miles 14 and 15 may also be just a bit off.
It's not an ideal solution, but we have to base out of the Patty Center -- we are very lucky that UAF lets us use a facility that can accommodate the event -- so we will make do as best we can. If the weather cooperates, everything will work out fine, so let's hope for good weather.
In the meantime, please do not call or e-mail regarding the finish and what we are going to do about it. Those e-mails and calls will not be returned. Thanks for your cooperation.