Totem Trot - Haines, Alaska
Similar to Dawson City, we showed up in Haines looking for a way to spend a few days... There was a weather window at the end of the week and after the previous few days of rain, we were looking to wait it out and hike up to see the mountains that were supposedly surrounding us. In typical form, we hit the visitor center and talked with the people in charge of tourism and events. We were given a tip that they might be looking for people to volunteer with the Totem Trot Half Marathon and 5k and to go talk to the people at the Sheldon Museum. We walked a couple blocks down and BOOM, we were set for some volunteering on Saturday. Regi came running down the stairs and was super stoked to learn that two people wanted to help out. She informed us that we were filling two of the last three spots she needed! Candice would be on a corner pointing the runners of the 5k and Half in the right direction and Jordan would be at an intersection just a couple blocks away stopping traffic for the Half Marathoners to roll through the "busiest" intersection in town.
That's it. We were off to explore Haines. By the time Saturday came around we had met most of the people that would be running the Half Marathon (we promised one or two of them shots!) -- there were 7 of them. We had checked out some cool hikes in and around Haines, gotten some solid glimpses of the surrounding peaks, and got a great view of the Perseid Meteor shower!
We showed up to the Sheldon Museum at 9am, got some coffee and breakfast sandwiches at the cafe across the street, picked up our shirts and made our way to our respective corners. The idea is runners trot to all of the totem poles around Haines... It was about an hour and a half wait till the first Half runners came through, and in that time, we had amassed mini shots of bourbon and fireball, a few locals scouting the front runners for us, and Candice had the great idea to load up some "eye of the tiger" and "the final countdown" loud as can be on the speaker. I also had the water Jerry Can out ready to spray down anyone or give them refreshment.
The runners all came by pretty close in time to each other, and they were all a bit too seriously into it to smash the shots, but a couple of them carried them to the end. They were stoked to have the music blasting and us yelling and cheering our faces off. After all the runners passed my checkpoint, Candice and I teamed up by the finish line to bring everyone in with some more music and excitement.
It was such a cool event and fun to be part of. We couldn't stick around for the rest of the day to celebrate with some of our new friends as we had to catch the ferry to Skagway -- that we just barely made on the standby list. And they sent us off with tons of baked goods that were leftovers from the finishers. A good way to spend a morning in Haines for sure.
Get out and Vounteer!