They're off
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - Soldiers from 6th Engineer Company, 3rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and civilian law enforcement officers prepare for relay run at the main gate Aug. 4. The Alaska State Trooper Adventure Relay took them from Fairbanks to Seward.

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - Lt. Aaron Anderson of the 6th Engineers said close to 50 of his Soldiers participated in the inaugural Wish Upon a North Star Relay, organized by Alaska State Troopers.

Anderson said his commander. Lt. Col. Marc Hoffmeister, was key in his unit's involvement in community events, and encouraged their participation. 6th Eng. Soldiers participated in every aspect of the relay, providing support and joining in the final leg of the relay, running from Anchorage to Seward.

The first runners took off Aug. 4 from Fort Wainwright's front gate, heading for a checkpoint at Ester Fire Deptartment.

"Lt. Col. Hoffmeister said 'Alaska treats its military very, very well' and they do," Anderson said. "We're very fortunate to be stationed here in Alaska. This is our chance to get involved for a very good cause, and to give thanks to our community."

Alaska State Troopers continued their tradition of traversing Alaska to raise funds for charity this summer with the Alaska State Troopers Adventure Relay from Fairbanks to Seward according to an AST news release.

This time instead of merely running the route, troopers, other law enforcement and corrections officers and their families put the adventure into the relay by divvying up the miles between runs, hikes, mountain bikes, water rafting, kayaking and even incorporate a railroad hand car into the event that benefits the Wish Upon The North Star charity. The non-profit was organized by Alaskans in 1983 to fulfill the wishes of Alaskan children with life-threatening illness. Some of the children in the program will be present at selected community aid stations, including the relay finale in Seward.

The relay began in Fairbanks Aug. 4, and finished more than 500 miles later in Seward Aug. 7. The 27 legs each had its own unique challenge along Alaska's trails, roadways, railroads, lakes and rivers.

According to organizers' research, ASTAR was the longest non-motorized endurance relay in the world.

Participation was limited to all state, federal, military and corrections officers and their family members.

Transitions were planned at each checkpoint as the Wish Upon The North Star flag was passed from one team to the next. Created by members of the Alaska State Troopers, the event included the community AST serves - the State of Alaska - and benefitted an Alaskan charity. Mixing up the methods of navigating Alaska's beautiful and challenging terrain allowed enthusiasts of all types of adventure to participate. The route travA,A!eled through communities both small and large to strengthen the bonds between law enforcement and the communities they serve, and over varying terrain to capture the adventuresome spirit that embodies The Last Frontier.

"I wanted an event that gives others besides runners and cyclists a chance to experience the grandeur and beauty of Alaska while benefiting a uniquely-Alaskan charity," said AST Director, Col. Audie Holloway, who came up with the idea for ASTAR.

Page last updated Thu August 12th, 2010 at 18:13