I ran it once, I think in 1971, the year before I ran for the state house. Unbeknownst to me, George Walton, my campaign chair at the time, cut a deal with the Kiwanis. Either I finished the Equinox, or no backing. Little did I know I had several hundred dollars riding on this race. Once I make a pledge, once I state something to the world, then I finish it.
At the time, I was in pretty good shape, though I hadn’t run a step to prepare for it. A young neighbor of ours, a girl around 16 to 17 years old, decided to run it with me. We did pretty well and got to the top of the Dome, but when I went down the chute I had to stop and sit on the side for a good 10 minutes before we started back up. We finished together, but the backs of my legs would not stop shaking. Our neighbor’s mother picked us up at the end of the race; a good thing because I couldn’t have driven home!
After the marathon, I found out about the deal George made and was happy to find out I picked up some campaign money!
[Glenn won the election, and served in the State House (1972-76) and State Senate (1976-1980).]
This experience didn’t give me the motivation to run this marathon again. It was raw survival. Fast forward to 1983… I was kidding with a friend about both of us running the Midnight Sun Run together. That was an entirely different experience. Still no preparation, but we decided to fast-walk it and had a very enjoyable time.
After that, I wondered if I could run a mile. I measured out a mile, and then ran it. I LOVED it! I went from there, and got involved with the running scene. Later on, I ran the Honolulu Marathon and wasn’t scared of the distance because I had prepared by running all the races in Fairbanks.
In 1992, I ran the Law Days 10K. Later that evening, driving on Airport Way, I noticed some trash on the side of the road; parked my car off the road and went to pick it up. Some people drag racing, hit me, broke both my legs. That ruined the rest of that running season!
In 1996, I was selected as a torchbearer for the Olympic Torch Relay and ran with the Olympic torch in Olympia, Washington.
What’s your favorite part of the course? Your least favorite part?
Favorite – the start up until I hit the first hill. Least favorite – the chute.
Describe the best moment you’ve experienced during this race. Describe the worst.
It’s euphoria at the beginning when everyone is starting out, something about a group of people doing something together – a real camaraderie.
Worst moment – coming down that chute, the immediate aftermath. At that particular point, I didn’t know if I could finish, but I did.
Do you consider yourself a competitive runner? What are your running goals/fitness goals?
I do. The competitiveness in the Equinox is finishing it. Currently, I run as long as it feels good. Rather than really push myself, I take it easy, and mostly walk. My goal is to be running when I’m 90. [Glenn is 86 years old.]
What’s the best advice or training tips you can share with others who are new to this race?
The best advice is more than anything else, eat right, keep track of weight and blood pressure. I’m utterly convinced I have decent blood pressure due to all my years of running; I give total credit to it. Keep moving every doggone day.
Have you made any big training errors, or race day flubs that adversely affected your enjoyment or time in this race?
There was one race, I remember eating an orange and then drinking a cup of water afterwards, and I sloshed all during the run. I’ve never been sick on a run though.
Any plans on participating in the Equinox this year? This race has been described as one of the most grueling marathons in the country! What keeps you motivated to participate in this event?
A good friend close to my age has encouraged me to hike the relay with her. I’m considering doing this. I could do the first leg. It’s the time of year I really appreciate, and running makes me feel great. I don’t feel 86.