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Creating a healthy and safe environment inside the Alaska National Guard is an endeavor that should be free from political games.

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Alaska has plenty of laws and regulations to deal with mine development.

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Letty Eileen Cole, 93, died on Oct. 15, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Susan Marie Mallott Patrick, 58, died Oct. 11, 2014, in Ketchikan.
5/21/2013
We ain't done yet

We did it! Smashed that Rain Boot Race Guinness World Record to smithereens!

What a community event it was on Saturday. The 1K race fittingly began just as the day’s rain stopped falling. Not long after, a total of 1,976 walkers and runners had crossed the finish line — 609 more than were needed to surpass the 1,366 mark set by Lincolnshire, England, in 2006.

We needed that.

Of course it is fitting that Ketchikan, the salmon-fishing capital in the rainforest, should hold a rain-boot record. We certainly wear enough of the “Ketchikan tennies.” Once we knew we almost made history on that spectacularly sunny Saturday in May 2012, we couldn’t be stopped. We might’ve even surprised ourselves, last year, but there was little doubt that this year we were not to be denied.

Organizers did a fabulous job of getting the word out in ‘13.

Ketchikan knows how to come together for all sorts of reasons, from tragic to comic to just-’cause. Every participant in this year’s event, once the results are verified, will be able to get a certificate showing participation. One nephyte runner noted online that it was exciting, in his first race ever, to break a world record. More than one person can make a similar claim now.

A supporter of the successful effort, Rob Hill, noted that records are made to be broken, and he expected this one will be, too — fueling Ketchikan’s ambitions to smash it again. But why wait? We think we should take our own record and smash it ourselves.

How about next year, we wrangle 38 more folks than participated this year? It would be such fun to wind up with 2,014 in 2014, wouldn’t it?

Let’s not stop there. The Ketchikan Visitors Bureau might be able to get the word out to the cruise lines that the race is open to passengers, too. That way, though we have but a population of a hair less than 14,000, we can run with the big boys. (Although — ahem — we did already kick the pants off a county with 1.042 million folks. Just saying.)

What a grand accomplishment Saturday’s race was. Now, while resting on those laurels, we can dream of wearing still bigger boots. We are just beginning!