The Eielson-Brewers defeated the BlackSpruce-Pirates 15-13 in the 115th annual Midnight Sun Game, but no one in the bleachers or on the field seemed to care. All that mattered was that at 10 p.m. on the summer solstice, two teams took the field at Growden Memorial Park and played a baseball game using only the light from the sun. This year, that seemingly simple task was anything but.
After 35 years, the Equinox Marathon has a new time to beat: 2 hours, 38 minutes and 14 seconds.
“I knew I had a shot at it, weather willing, and I’m pleased to really get it,” Aaron Fletcher said, after breaking the record Stan Justice set in 1984.
But Saturday’s weather wasn’t exactly “willing” Fletcher to win. The temperature was in the low 30s, and the combination of snow, rain and wind provided additional obstacles for the competitors at the 57th annual running of the race.
David Abel has been fighting fires for 35 years and has been working at Fort Wainwright for the last 14, but this past weekend his job was different: He was a rodeo dad.
“My job is to hold the horse and pay the bills,” he said, laughing outside of his RV parked on the east side of the Sunrise Arena at the Tanana Valley Fairgrounds.
Chatter regarding “good ears” filled the Carlson Center on Friday afternoon at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics as athletes across the competition floor were comparing and examining each other’s ears in preparation for this year’s ear-pull competition.
In this instance, good ears had nothing to do with who had the best hearing. In fact, the best set of men’s ears belonged to three-time defending ear-pull champion Linc Qimiq, a Fairbanks resident who happens to be deaf. Auna Reed-Lewis, a 17-year old from Palmer, won the women’s competition.
The 3,560 fans who packed the stands and temporary bleachers at Growden Memorial Park for the 114th Midnight Sun Game got quite the show Friday night: a sunset to left field, a rainbow to right field and, of course, a baseball game starting at 10 p.m. played without artificial light.