Alaska is a runner’s paradise with access to endless trails, long hours of daylight, and terrain to suit anyone's skill level from novice to elite competitor. Summer is just getting started. With summer sun, everyone from first-time runners to those elite competitors are lacing up their running shoes.
For Robin Hopper, harmony means home. She remembers her father strumming his guitar while the family sang along. Her grandmother would sing songs about anything Robin could think of while she played her taropatch, an 8-string ukulele, despite Robin's best efforts to stump her. But, as much as Robin loves music, family is something even more important to her. “Family is everything,” Robin explained. “It’s the people who love you the best no matter what and the people who understand you without you needing to explain yourself. It’s that sense of belonging without having to worry about what people think or what’s going to happen.”
It started out as an unusual school assembly at Eagle River High School on the morning of Feb. 1 as Alaska Commissioner of Education Michael Johnson, Anchorage School District’s Superintendent Deena Bishop, and CEO of the National Institute for Excellence Dr. Gary Stark arrived to speak. They knew a tightly held secret. Dr. Stark began his speech, but then shifted his focus by revealing that the purpose of the assembly was actually to announce the winner of the Milken Educator Award. The Milken Educator Award is a rare honor for select teachers across the U.S. Only one educator from Alaska received it this year. The award comes with a $25,000 prize and numerous professional development opportunities.
Kevin Burton and Matthew Tomter are turning the former Matanuska Maid Dairy blow mold building in Palmer into a 12,000+ square foot state-of-the-art brewing facility. Matanuska Brewing Company started production
Not many people can say they have completed the 1000-mile Iditarod race from Seward to Nome. Even fewer, 11 to be exact, can say they traversed the distance on foot. Inspired by Joe Redington Sr., the Iditarod Trail Invitational (ITI), has evolved into an event for skiers, fat bikers and runners.
Sarah Hurkett is training to compete in the Susitna 100, and it's not the first time she's doing it. She is training hard with the Chugach Run Team throughout this winter in preparation to finish the 100-mile race this upcoming February.
Will Johnson has wanted to play music and perform since he watched Amadeus in second grade. Over the years, that desire to play music and perform has led him to become a well-known figure here in Eagle River and throughout Alaska as both a solo musician and as the front man for a band called “Chill Factor.” The band has performed at events like the Governor’s Ball this past year and at an annual party hosted by Martin Buser, a champion Iditarod musher. At first, though, he wanted to play the violin.