A strong group of Haines runners finished the challenging Yukon River Trail Marathon and half marathon on Aug. 6. The route features sustained climbs on rugged dirt trails that start and finish near downtown Whitehorse. Two Haines residents completed the full 26-mile marathon distance. Jenn Shelton, 39 finished in fourth place in the open women category with a time of 5:34:05. She finished with Jenn Walsh, who claimed second in the women’s masters category. The two friends ran the race together. Shelton said originally Walsh had suggested doing the race as a relay, but Shelton’s friend Renn Dawg from Ashland Ore. was in town visiting and was able to watch her two-year-old. Shelton has run more than 100 marathons around the world and called the YRTM “the best trail marathon course I’ve ever done in the world.” She said she and Walsh accomplished their two goals of 1) finishing, and 2) finishing as friends. Adam McMahan led the Haines contingent in the half marathon, finishing with a time of 2:16:06, good for 30th place overall. Nathan Mohan finished two minutes later. Tesse Maciejko and Jan Mohan also finished the women’s half. And the four-person Ripinsky Rambler team finished the full marathon course in second with a time of 4:08:36.

James G̱ooch Éesh Hart of Haines started his stint at the at Burke Museum in Seattle as a grantee of the Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Native Art. Hart studied form line art under Carver Wayne Price and others. According to a Facebook post from the Burke Museum, which is a Smithsonian Institution affiliate, Hart studied some of the museum’s collections of formline art on bentwood boxes and argillite poles and would be producing a formline painting inspired by his research.

Abby Irish was in town from Phoenix, Ariz., visiting Haines for the first time at the invitation of her friend Neil Einsbruch. The two grew up as neighbors in New Jersey, where they exchanged messages via hand-written posters they held up against the windows. “It was the first form of texting,” said Irish. She said the signs included things like “You owe me money,” or “We’re going to play in the snow today.” Einsbruch had been pestering Irish to visit Haines for years, and she finally decided to do it for her 65th birthday. “I just decided that’s what I’m gonna do. Einsbruch also recently turned 65. Irish, who writes romantic comedy novels with chocolate-themed titles, said she’d seen moose, bears, and eagles while here, and enjoyed making a bead at John Svenson’s art gallery. While the rain put a damper on outdoor activities, Irish said it was an improvement from the “infernal” streak of 120-plus degree weather of Phoenix.

Thirty-seven Haines residents finished the first-ever Haines Local Foods Challenge, which was put on by the Takshanuk Watershed Council, the Mosquito Lake Victory Garden, and the Southeast Sustainable Partnership. “I feel great,” said organizer Tracy Wirak-Cassidy. “We sort of pulled together this event at the last minute.” The weeklong challenge let participants choose a level — from one local ingredient per meal to a full-fledged “locavore” option — and log the foods they ate each day. It concluded with a local foods potluck on Sunday, which was originally scheduled to take place at the Park Stage at the fairgrounds, but was moved inside the old Raevyn’s Cafe because of high winds and rain. Mardell Gunn, Sandra Barclay, Patty Kermoian, and Sally Boisvert were the only residents to finish the “locavore” category, and Mardell won the prize since she was the only locavore participant who attended the potluck. Tawny Darling and Robert Chadwell prepared prize boxes filled with local foods and crafts for lottery winners in each of the three categories. Dishes at the potluck included salmon, salads, zucchini stuffed with locally foraged chanterelle mushrooms, cherry cobbler, and spruce-tip sorbet. “It was pretty gourmet — people went all out,” said Wirak-Cassidy.