Midwinter runners enjoy an ice day for a run

By JR Ancheta
Sun Star Reporter

At 10 a.m., the sky displayed a beautiful, fiery spectacle and a group of runners geared up for a mid-winter race in Fairbanks called the Chilly Buns Run. Running Club North organized the race. A little under six and a half miles

Devin McDowell (left) and Ian Macdougall (right) race toward the finish line on Saturday’s Chilly Buns Run. JR Ancheta / Sun Star

(10K), the race snakes through Chena Creek Road, near the reindeer farm, around the botanical gardens, past Sheep Creek Road and up Miller Hill. For the past 20 years, the race continued regardless of the temperature or the weather. Luckily for the runners, the temperature on Saturday was a balmy zero degrees.

“It was great!” said UAF student Ian MacDougall. “It was really slippery [where] the snow’s been compacted. I didn’t have the spiked shoes, so I was kind of sliding.” It has been four months since MacDougall last ran. “You can’t ask for a better place to run…I went out conservative and it all worked out.”

Devin McDowell placed first with a time of 40 minutes and 48 seconds. MacDougall arrived one second later, with 40 minutes and 49 seconds. Both runners are novices running in the winter, and it was their first winter race.

All the runners were dressed for the weather, wearing headgear, running pants and layers. Participants used various running shoes, most used spikes or cleats. “[You] dress so you feel 10 to 15 degrees cooler,” said runner Andy Hollend. “Once you start moving, then you warm up.”

“Very nice day,” said Patrick Kalen, “Last year it was colder, so it was a lovely day for running. And of course it was nice and smooth.” Kalen has been running since 1987 and almost always does the Chilly Buns Run. “At summer time, that same place that’s wonderful in the winter could be an ugly wet swamp,” Kalen said.


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