Saturday, Aug 5, 2023

Hatcher Pass Races

Willow Fishhook Road and Shirley Towne Drive

Willow, AK Hatcher Pass 50, Hatcher Pass 50 Rly, Marathon, Marathon Relay

This Event Took Place Sat. Aug 5, 2023

Hatcher Pass

Hatcher Pass is one of the most scenic areas in the Matanuska-Susitna valley and draws in hikers, runners, bikers, and sightseers throughout the year. The Hatcher Pass Marathon takes place once the gates through the Pass are opened to the public after being locked all winter due to immense snowfall. In the winter, it's an outdoor enthusiasts playground, but the summers are the true spice of life in this area. From July through September Hatcher Pass is THE place to be!

Race Details

The Hatcher Pass Races have become a staple in the Alaska running community, not just for the incredible location but also for the intense elevation gain/loss of roughly 3900 ft. The first 25 miles of the Marathon course are uphill, some gradual, some steep, some switchbacks. This is a mountain pass after all. The last 1+ mile is a downhill burner to the finish. The 50 Mile course begins with a steep climb before descending the rest of the way down to the midway turnaround point (the Marathon start). 50 Milers then follow the Marathon course back up to the finish. All courses will travel along Hatcher Pass road between Hatcher Pass Lodge and Willow. The Marathon route is slightly longer than 26.2 so it won't qualify you for Boston but it will mark Alaska off your 50 States challenge. Likewise, the 50 Mile course is slightly over as well.

The Relay event is a 3-person relay with each team member running either one 8-9 mile leg for the Marathon or two legs for the 50 Mile. Relay teams MUST consist of three (3) runners. Only teams with the required number of runners will be eligible for top finish awards.


Hatcher Pass 50/Relay: 5:00am start at Hatcher Pass Lodge. 6.5 hour cutoff to the marathon start (11:30am), 15 hour cutoff to the finish. (8:00pm)

Hatcher Pass Marathon/Relay: 9:00am start at N. Shirley Towne Dr, Willow. 9 hour cutoff time to the finish. (6:00pm)


There will be 6 aid stations located approimately at:
Mile 4
Mile 9 - Relay Exchange/Medical
Mile 12
Mile 17 - Relay Exchange/Medical
Mile 20
Mile 23

All aid stations will be equipped with water, electrolytes, race fuel, and other food/snacks. It is highly recommended that you bring some of your own nutrition needs as well. 50 Mile participants will hit each of the aid stations twice, starting with Mile 23.


In order to maintain our permitted number of participants on Hatcher Pass Road, the following MUST be adhered to:

There are NO pacers allowed for the marathon.

One (1) vehicle per Relay team is allowed to drive along the course to exchange runners at the designated exchange aid stations. NO pacers are allowed for any leg of the Relay.

One (1) pacer and one (1) crew vehicle will be allowed per participant of the 50. Pacer MUST wear the designated “pacer” bib at all times while on the course and is not permitted to run more than 30 total miles. Pacers may meet/drop their runner at any of the designated aid stations.

Crew vehicles must use pull out areas along the roadside to check on their runners. Absolutely NO following runners and impeding traffic. This action may result in runner disqualification.


Minimum 16oz water bottle
400 calories
Head Lamp (50 only)
Hi-Visibility vest (50 only)


Bear Spray
Light Jacket


Parking is available but limited at all locations; i.e. start, exchange zones & finish. Carpooling is highly encouraged. 50 Mile participants will park at the Independence Mine lower parking lot for the start. Marathon participants will park on N Shirley Towne Dr in Willow for the start.

Parking Passes:
Anyone parking at Independence Mine is required to have an Alaska State Park permit which can be purchase for $5 on site.

Please use caution when pulling off of and back onto the roadway; be aware of other vehicles traveling at high speeds, off road-vehicles, and other runners.

Do NOT block traffic following any runner, you WILL be disqualified if you do so. There are plenty of pull outs along the race course that you may use to wait for your team/runner. We will NOT be directing or stopping any traffic so please be aware of your surroundings. Vehicles have the right of way!

This is a point to point race. There will be no shuttle and every participant is responsible for their own ride/transportation from the finish line.

Drop Bags
We will be taking any drop bags for participants at the start and transport them to the finish line. Bags MUST be marked with your name. We are not responsible for any lost items.


We have partnered with Wander Project to help you do more with our Hatcher Pass 50M, Marathon and Relays!

We are bringing charity bibs to these events to help you turn your passion into purpose.

How does a charity bib work?

A charity bib is a free entry into the race, in exchange for helping raise awareness and funds for an organization of YOUR choice. We have already identified some nonprofits that are doing amazing work including The Wilderness Society, Challenged Athletes Foundation, Rising Hearts, Team Semper Fi & America’s Fund, and Bigger Than The Trail. And we’re working on a few more right here in Alaska!

However, if you have a cause that already inspires you to do more, you can choose them as the organization you are raising funds for right at registration!

Once you register for a charity bib (which is separate from the regular registration), you will be automatically prompted to set up a fundraising page through Wander Project’s peer-to-peer fundraising platform. From here, Wander Project will give you a whole host of tools and resources (including meet-ups, one on ones, templates, and more) to engage your friends and family
throughout your fundraising journey. This means you’ll have support from Wander Project at every step of your fundraising process as you raise funds for your selected charity!

Fundraising minimum commitments for these events are as follows:
$1,250 Marathon and Marathon Relay
$1,500 50 Mile and 50 Mile Relay

The percentage of the funds that will be allocated to the nonprofit of your choice depends on the partnership agreement we have with each organization and spans from 65-80% of the net total raised.

By signing up for a charity bib, you are making a serious commitment to raise the amount you agreed to. If you are not able to meet the minimum fundraising amount by the week of the race, you will be required to pay the difference. All donations are final.

Once you raise your minimum commitment, you will receive a code to register for the event through Ultra Signup.

We look forward to seeing you at this year’s Hatcher Pass events.

Let’s turn our passions into purpose and make a difference in the world!

Still, have a question about how this works? Drop Wander Project’s Director of Community Engagement a line at


Event's current local time: 11:30 AM AK


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