Allison Ostrander, “Allie” is a familiar name to Alaskans especially those who love to run. Weighing less than an Alaskan mosquito, Allie at only 16 years of age has back to back Mt. Marathon titles, State and regional championships, holding multiple records for various events. Last week it was noted by the Alaskan State Legislature that Allie Ostrander not only runs fast, but she runs deep having recently been selected to receive the prestigious Prudential Spirit of Community Award for her Salmon Run Series project. At a joint Kenai/Soldotna Chamber of Commerce meeting, State Senator Peter Micciche read and presented Ostrander with a legislative citation recognizing her for receiving such national recognition and bring honor to the entire State of Alaska, “The legislature specifically recognized Allie for her Prudential Spirit of Community Award which was another successful Caring for the Kenai project that turned into a very substantial contribution to her community and national recognition for her,” said Senator Micciche after reading the citation at the meeting.
The second Salmon Run Series presently underway at the Tsalteshi Trails every Wednesday evening is a 5K series held for 5 consecutive weeks with the proceeds supporting invasive plant eradication and educational programs of the Kenai Watershed Forum. “We had 112 participants in our first race this year which was a fantastic turnout considering our largest turnout last year was 102 runners. Last year my expectations were pretty modest because my Caring for the Kenai idea was to have a small community series of races for those who loved running and wanted to help our local environment, but it turned out much larger than I ever expected and we raised over $5,000 which went to fighting reed canary grass and this year our goal is $6,000 which will go to the Kenai Watershed Forum education programs. I’m also pleased that the Salmon Run Series is also introducing folks to the Tsalteshi Trail system, that is a wonderful local resource that has been under utilized, by changing the course each week runners get to explore the different trails and feel more confident in running them on their own with their families,” said Allie. Everyone is welcome to participate in the Salmon Run Series and according to Allie visitors from foreign countries to mother’s with strollers have joined the run. One example of how Allie has shared her spirit of community vision comes from an Allie fan, Mike Crawford who has been passing out flyers titled “Mike Suits Up for Salmon.” According to Crawford if he gets $500 in pledges he will run the last 5K Salmon Run Series in an expensive business suit and tie. “Additionally I’m challenging the business community to match the community pledges if I can get a top ten finish in the final race and as additional motivation for me to run fast in the suit and tie if I don’t finish in the top ten then I’ll match the community contribution up to $1,000 with all proceeds going to the Watershed Forum’s programs as well,” said Crawford.
The final Salmon Run Series will be held on Wednesday, August 7th. To make a pledge contact Mike Crawford at the Kenai Peninsula Borough or stop by the Kenai Watershed Forum’s office at Soldotna Creek Park for a pledge sheet or log on to www.kenaiwatershed.org.