Cinthia Ritchie

I could have been strolling amongst farm exhibits at the Alaska State Fair.

Instead, I was out on the Beach Lake trails, surrounded by skinny people in brightly-colored clothes charging around a four-mile loop so ridiculously hilly that I was ready to call it quits after the first lap.

I was racing the third-annual A Day at the Beach, a timed event offering runners the chance to test their endurance during six-, 12- and 24-hour timed races.