Virtual Blueberry Race

Ketchikan High School’s Jenna Walker, left, and Morgan Elerding loop around the Virtual Blueberry Run’s 5K cone marker, just south of the U.S. Coast Guard Base-Ketchikan on Saturday. The duo finished in 23:13 and 23:02, respectively. Photo by Chris Biagi

KETCHIKAN (KDN) — On what would’ve been the 45th Anniversary of the Blueberry Arts Festival on Saturday, several running enthusiasts got a jump start on the Virtual Blueberry Race.

Ten Ketchikan High School cross country runners, as well as several adults, competed in the virtual 5K race on Saturday.

Kayhi’s Mickey Lapinski and Anneliese Hiatt currently hold the top spots in both men’s and women’s 5K races, respectively. Lapinski finished the course in 17:37; Hiatt did the same in 22:12.

Participants also can compete in the one-mile walk or 10K run — or all three. The final day to submit results for the Virtual Blueberry Race is Sunday, Aug. 9.

The 45th Anniversary of the Blueberry Arts Festival was postponed due to the novel coronavirus, but the Ketchikan Running and Walking Club opted to continue its course with virtual races this summer.

Several volunteers helped the Ketchikan Running and Walking Club during Saturday’s run, including Jen Simpson, Tamara King, Becca Doyle, Chris Biagi, Kathy and Ray Lapinski, as well as Dan Ortiz.

Carlos Weimer also chipped in midway through his morning run, helping runners up the final hill at the intersection of Main and Grant streets.

The running club won’t have volunteers on the streets every day until Aug. 9, however. So the club advises everyone to compete cautiously, while running alongside day-to-day traffic. Drivers also beware.

Participants can use free GPS apps, including Strava, MapMyRun and RunKeeper. The running club has a Strava account, similar to a Facebook page, and results can be uploaded to it.

Results also can be emailed to katie.sivertsen@k21schools.org, with full names and ages included within the email. Photos of each finish are encouraged.

For complete race directions and maps of the one-mile, 5K and 10K routes, visit the Ketchikan Running and Walking Club’s Facebook page.

The Virtual Blueberry Race is free. Complete results will be published in the Daily News following the Aug. 9 issue.