Staying active and eating right in the Last Frontier
It’s time to take a big bite out of summer. Whether the taste comes wild, deep-fried, in a glass or is a more metaphorical sampling of Anchorage, late summer is a prime time to dig in. If Alaskans made treasure maps, many would mark thet location of a sweet kind of prize: the best berry-picking patches. Have you ever tried to get a tight-lipped picker to reveal their best spot? It’s nearly impossible! Luckily, the Alyeska Blueberry Festival Aug. 9 and 10 includes a quick way to get picking. Free lift rides make the trip to prime blueberry spots easy. Fill a bucket on the slopes above Girdwood. They’re great straight from the bush, but of course the festival has many blueberry treats to sample too. If you need an official excuse to pig out, it’s all capped by a pie-eating contest.
Crossing the finish line can be one of the sweetest tastes of all. Runners know that wonderful feeling better than most. This month, the annual Big Wild Life Runs are back with half and full marathons, a marathon relay, 5K, Kids’ 2K and the Anchorage Mile. The event is true to its name as well; many races through the years have kicked off with a reminder to keep an eye out for the moose spotted along the course by volunteers setting up. The marathon is also a Boston Marathon qualifier, a big deal for anyone with an eye on the iconic East Coast race in the future. For the truly ambitious, the Anchorage Running Club has added something new this year: an ultra. This long-distance endurance race goes 49 kilometers (a little more than 30 miles, for the metric-averse).
When you’re ready to toast your running success (or if the mere thought of physical exertion makes you thirsty) join Big Swig Tours on an Anchorage beer tour. The 3.5-hour tour takes guests to beer hotspots around town, transportation provided. Meet brewers, find out what inspires each batch and try plenty of the finished product. Tickets include beer tastings, a selection of appetizers and round-trip transportation. Reserve a seat online at www.bigswigtours.com.
The Alaska State Fair fun runs Aug. 21 to Sept. 1. Alongside deep-fried eats and tilt-a-whirl fun, performances from Tesla, KC and the Sunshine Band, Bachman & Turner and Blue Oyster Cult tune up this year’s fair. For anyone too young to remember those bands, how about Seether, Three Days Grace and the All-American Rejects? These monsters of rock compete with monster veggies. Smash through the record books with leafy green wrecking balls at the giant vegetable weigh-offs. Alaska’s long summer sun can help produce hundred pound cabbages and thousand pound pumpkins. Make the most of your summer with activities as big as Alaska.