American Cancer Society

Kenai Peninsula Relay for Life is going virtual this year.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Dispelling the idea that exercise requires effort to garner results, the Central Peninsula Relay for Life held its second annual .5K race Sunday in Soldotna. Yes, point-5 K, as in half a kilometer.


About 200 people participated in the Brewery-to-Bathroom .5K, tackling the hill — OK, a slight incline — between Kenai River Brewery and the bathrooms at Soldotna Creek Park.


  Saturday, the Central Peninsula chapter of the American Cancer Society holds its biggest fundraiser of the year, the Relay for Life. It’s something they’ve done for most of the decade, but there is a change this year: The course will be laid out at Soldotna Creek Park, and be more of a path than an oval track.

KDLL spoke with three members of the local chapter — all volunteers — during last week’s KDLL spring fundraiser. First we’ll hear from Alana Martin, and then Laura Niemczyk and Joe Yourkowski.

Relay for Life, the annual American Cancer Society walk-a-thon is on June 1 at Soldotna Creek Park. During this hour, three members of the local Society chapter, Alana Martin, Joe Yourkowski, and Laura Niemczyk talk with host Jay Barrett about the event. 

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

The turnout for the big race Sunday in Soldotna was competitive with other major running events in the area — 110 preregistered racers and another 100 signed up at the start line. The course was laid out with plenty of signage and aid stations at the top of the incline and at the turnaround. And race swag was available so people could boast of their big athletic accomplishment.

If you looked closely, though, the distance printed on the braggy stickers and T-shirts was point 5 K. As in, a half a kilometer. A third of a mile. Sixteen hundred forty-ish feet, and every one of them for a good cause.

“We want to eradicate cancer, we want to raise money for programs and research and in about a hundred years or so, we don’ t want to hear anyone say, ‘You have cancer,’” said Johna Beech, event chair for the local Relay for Life organization.