Nifty Fifty Ultra Run Returns on Saturday

    A runner in the 2019 Nifty Fifty moves down the Granite Creek Trail during the 50K race in Juneau. The 2020 race was cancelled by COVID-19 and the 2021 race by Mother Nature. (Klas Stolpe/KINY)

      Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Sign up online if you are up to the task of completing Juneau’s Nifty Fifty ultra-distance 50K this Saturday. Cancelled by COVID-19 in 2020 and Mother Nature in 2021 the course is awaiting ultra-runners "jonesing" for an outdoors race.

      If the 50K seems too daunting, try the 25K option or the 10K and get back in time to cheer on the rest of the field.

      The Nifty Fifty 50K starts at 7:00 a.m., while the 25K and 10K start at 9:00 a.m. The starting line and finish for each is at the end of Basin Road near Perseverance Trail.

      There is no race day signup. All race registrations must be completed by 5:00 p.m. Friday on Cost is $25 for the 50K and 25K and $10 for the 10K.

      More than 45 athletes already have declared a desire to take on the course.

      “The biggest challenge is the climb from Basin Road to the cross on Mount Roberts,” race director Keith Levy said. “A 2,000 foot elevation gain over 2.5 miles. It comes 24 miles into the 50K.”

      The 50K takes runners out Basin Road to the Flume, through the highlands and out Glacier Avenue to Salmon Creek Trail. Runners go up and out Salmon Creek Trail and back, then return to the end of Basin Road where they tack on the 25K course.

      The 25K runs out Basin Road toward town but turns right up Perseverance Trail. Then up to Red Mill Trail for another right turn up to the Glory Hole overlook and back to Red Mill Trail. There is a right on Red Mill Trail and right on Perseverance up to the end of Perseverance Trail. Runners then head back down Perseverance Trail but turn right at Granite Creek Trail and follow that for an out and back. Runners return down Perseverance to the starting line at Basin Road and head to the Mount Roberts Trail for a climb and scramble up to Father Brown’s Cross. Runners return to Basin Road and back to the finish.

      The 10K follows only the 25K portion up to the Glory Hole overlook and then returns the same route.

      “We are happy to be able to put on the race again,” Levy said. “2020 was cancelled because of COVID and 2021 was cancelled because of a storm that rolled in the day before the race and flooded the trails.”

      Although there will be water, Gatorade and snacks at the start/finish area there will be limited water on the course. Athletes should carry enough fluids and snacks to get between aid stations. See all the race info at

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