Alaska's First Ironman Race

On August 7th, 2022, Alaska held its first triathlon race in Juneau. Of the 865 participants that entered the race, 724 athletes completed the race. The swim was a 1.2 miles in Auke Lake. (Normally in a typical triathlon, the swim portion is 2.4 miles but race officials cut it in half because of the freezing temperatures of the lake.) The biking portion was 112 miles along the Glacier Highway. The last 26.2 miles on foot was in the Mendenhall Valley. 

Alex Whetman, bib 145, of Riverton Utah, was the race winner and finished all three legs of the race in 9 hours 11 minutes and 16 seconds. His swim time was 35 minutes and 43 seconds, his bike time was 4 hours 59 minutes and 16 seconds, and his run time was 3 hours and 22 minutes and 48 seconds. 

Liz Cullen of British Columbia was the fist female to finish the race at 10 hours and 23 minutes. Juneau residents supported the race well with over a 1,000 local volunteers. Some locals loaned personal equipment to competitors and ferried racers around town. Juneau is contracted to host two more races in 2023 and 2024. 

 Photo: Paige Sparks-KTOO