Kikkan Randall inspires cheers, tears at Anchorage cross-country meet

I had planned to go to a local cross-country running race to cheer on my cousin and got a big surprise!

Anchorage Daily News 09/15/18

All eyes were on Kikkan Randall at a high school cross-country race Saturday, and none of them were dry. Randall’s included.

The Olympic gold medalist said she was shocked to see a sea of pink as she rode her bicycle into Kincaid Park from her East Anchorage home.

“Oh my gosh you guys, this is amazing,” said Randall, who planned to be a spectator at the Big 8 meet but instead became the focal point of an emotional day of racing.

Randall, 35, was diagnosed with breast cancer less than six months after winning a historic gold medal in cross-country skiing at February’s Winter Olympics in South Korea.

An East High graduate who won the 2000 Cook Inlet Conference cross-country championship, said she came to Saturday’s race to support her cousin, West High’s Kelsey Johannes.

(Matt Tunseth/ADN)

But the Alaska running community is a small one, and when word got out that Randall would be making an appearance, coaches sprung into action.

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