Baranof 24 Hour Endurance Run - Sitka, AK

Note:  This is a blog that I missed posting.  The run was in November 2010.

It is currently 2:25 am and I am assisting Matthew Shepard and his Baranof 24 hour Endurance Run in Sitka, Alaska. This is a fund raiser for the American Diabetes Association. Matthew has completed just over 35 miles and 20 laps around the 1.75 mile loop that has become his domain. Lap #1 started at 6pm. Lap #21 is drawing to a close. He is now alternating running and walking.

Matthew Shepard

Now about 4am. Conditions have been horrid. Those outside the bubble will not realize how much more is involved in an event with these conditions for Matthew. A strong breeze with gusts to 25-30 mph and rain, a constant wall of water to slush through. We are used to unkind conditions here in the rainforest but this is mother nature being purely wicked and evil.

I met Matthew when he contacted me regarding my involvement with diabetes and the crazy array of events I seem to immerse myself in. This 24 hour run is tied in with the Rome marathon which he and some friends will be running in March for the American Diabetes Association. Their website is His interest and desire to do great things for diabtetes is due to having a girlfriend, Kate, who has diabetes. His interest in extreme events is due to....? It is a cool passion and that is why I am involved in this event. With recent knee surgery I am unable to run but will walk some laps with Matthew and I am happy to be invovled in extreme stuff on our remote island in Alaska.

We had set up run base camp at the Sitka Fire Hall. About every 18-19 minutes Matthew would cruise by, wet but determined. As the lap count began to mount, Matthew would deal with cramps, sore muscles, feet that were beginning to look like an experiment and the ever present squallish weather bearing down on a runner with a mission.

By 6am the conditions were pounding Matthew and he made the wise decision to cut the run short. It had been 12 hours since he had taken those first steps heading up Lake street. The Baranof 24 Hour Endurance Run would short of the goal but was a valiant effort by Matthew. I am encouraged by his event (and others) who are dedicated to assisting in efforts to cure and/or improve the lives of those with diabetes (and other causes).