Runners ready for 2nd annual Troth Yeddah’ 5K

David Spindler/Sun Star Reporter
Sept. 17, 2013

Pete Pinney gives the countdown for the start of the race. Sept.14 David Spindler

Pete Pinney gives the countdown for the start of the race. Sept.14 David Spindler

On Saturday morning Sept. 14, the University of Alaska Museum was the starting point of the second annual Troth Yeddah’ 5K Run, which began at 10 a.m.

Approximately ten minutes before the race started, Event Coordinator Pete Pinney explained the course of the race. Afterward, a tribal drumming song began consisting of three veterans, two elders and one woman, Tonya Esmailka, the first woman ever to partake in the Soaring Eagle Tribal Drum. 

A quarter of an hour into the race, first runner Franklin Dekker made it back with a time of 18:01. Dekker is twenty-five years old and is working for Fish and Wildlife Service in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge until November. “Been running since high school, usually get nervous but once the race starts, it doesn’t matter. I’ve always liked a good and mental challenge,” Dekker said.

Picking up the rear at the end of the race was 63-year-old Sarah Mcconnell, a training coordinator for the UAA Trust Train Corporation. She came in with a time of 58:52. “I’m thankful to finish last, it’s just merely one foot in front of the other,” Mcconnell said.

While the race carried on, the Soaring Eagle Tribal Drum music continued. “The Tribal Drumming originally started with Bob McQuire, a longtime supporter of Troth Yeddah Park till he passed away,” said Tonya Esmailka, a 44-year-old social worker who led the drumming. “I hope we’re invited again next year and that we have more of the community come out and support the Troth Yeddah Park.”  

The Troth Yeddha Run brings awareness to the park and commemorates the Alaskan Natives who once preserved and harvested the land. Pinney expresses interest in a possible 10K run for next year. “It’s a lot of fun now and I hoped everyone had a good time,” Pinney said.


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