Alaskans are use to cold and often snowy Halloweens, but the 3rd Annual Tsalteshi Spook Night offered up mild temperatures and torrential rains that turned the trails into mud paths. “We never even thought of canceling, because would anyone really cancel Halloween, I don’t think so!” replied Tsalteshi board member Mike Crawford, decked out in full high seas rain gear. “We’re here and it’s a beautiful day, good for running and while the trails are muddy the hills aren’t under water and everyone is having fun,” added Crawford. “Alaskans are tougher than the rest, I was thinking our numbers would be down and maybe they are a little bit, but 19 registered for the Zombie 5K Run, creep, walk or slop and any kid worth their salt loves to play in the mud with their parents and it looks like we had hundreds out on the Trick or Treat trail 1K loop and I think a lot of these folks are here not only to celebrate Halloween but to support the Tsalteshi Trails,” said Carley Reimer, Tsalteshi Trails secretary.

Winning the 5K Zombie Run was Tony Eskelin with a lively time of 22:31.7, second was John-Mark Pothast who slipped in at 22:39.8 and third was Jeff Swick at 23:10.8. In the women’s Zombie division Stephanie Winter was first at 27:48, Elizabeth Bella second at 29:37.3 and just a few splashes back in third was Nimi Pollock at 29:39.6. Tsalteshi Trails is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Nordic skiing, running and biking as healthy family and individual activities. The trails are located just south of Soldotna behind Skyview high school and have more than 11 miles of groomed and maintained trails that are also accessible from K-Beach Rd. across from the Soldotna Sports Center.

“Actually Spook Night 2013 will be a lifetime memory because of the mud and a little (OK, a lot!) of liquid sun couldn’t dampen the fun of Spook Night! Thanks to all our Trick-or-Treat Trail station sponsors, volunteers and the hardy hiking kids and escorts. Better weather next year! Or not!” added Crawford.

See Halloween, page 6