ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame is inducting the Alaska Run for Women into the Hall of Fame in 2019 in the event category.
Back in 1993, the top female athletes in the state were fed up with how the Alaska Women's Run was being managed. So, as a way to take back ownership of their race, they decided to start their own.
"I've been told I've had an overdeveloped sense of justice," race founder Terri Pauls said with a laugh.
Pauls decided to take matters into her own hands. She called all the top women runners in the state and asked them if they wanted to be a part of the new race.
She had no clue whether or not it would be successful.
“Gosh, maybe 100 people signed up by race day? And then it dawned a beautiful clear blue day, and that morning, Natalie Phillips had an article about the Alaska Women’s Run and where all their money was going,” Pauls said with a grin.
According to that story, the money was going to the race director, who had increased the race entry fee. As a result, the original 100 who had signed up for the Alaska Run for Women quickly turned into 500.
The race today is something no one could have predicted.
Not even Lisa Keller, one of those early adopters, who helped put on the first ever Alaska Run for Women.
“I’m pretty proud of it. To have stuck with it from the very beginning,” Keller said.
That first race they decided would be for the benefit of breast cancer research, and today, the race has brought in more than $3.5 million for the cause.
“It’s a testament to the community of Alaska," Keller said. "We are a really tight community throughout the whole state. We look out for each other and we like to be together.”
This year's run will be held June 8, 2019.