Running Free Alaska
Running Free Alaska's Mission and Vision
Our mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of Alaskan women who are incarcerated through a structured running program and to provide running-related support after release.
We believe that the simplicity of running helps people live their best lives. Our vision is to create a supportive environment for women who are incarcerated and stand as a bridge to an interconnected community not defined by labels and stigmas.
In the spring of 2012, our founder Tim Alderson was interning in the mental health unit at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center while finishing his master's thesis. He had been inspired by a Runner's World article about a running program in a Kansas women's prison to study the effects of running on a prison population. The initial 12-week program started with 25 runners and included two coaches from the community, Ellyn Brown and Lisa Keller. In July 2012, Running Free Alaska incorporated and held its first board meeting. Click the button below to see Tim's thesis and watch the video below to see the impact of Running Free Alaska.
Our programs are offered inside Hiland Mountain Correctional Center (HMCC) to women who are incarcerated and on the outside once our runners are released.
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Running Free has a year-around presence at Hiland Correctional. Fifteen volunteer coaches hold practices three times a week in a winter session that runs January - May and a summer session that runs June - October. The winter session culminates in a 5K and 10K race and the summer session culminates in a 5K, 10K and half-marathon race. In the shoulder season, November - December, there is a conditioning session.
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Once our runners are released, we welcome them into the Anchorage running community. We pay for race entry fees for three years, provide a pair of shoes and a jog bra, and outfit them in running gear from our collection of donated gently-used running clothes (also known as Jackie's Closet).
Peak a Week
The idea of a summer "Peak a Week" program for our released runners has been brewing for quite some time. Many of our coaches are avid trail runners and hikers and the enthusiasm for the mountains has been passed down to our runners inside Hiland. Since our program is temporarily on hold due to Covid-19, it seemed the perfect time to introduce our idea to our released runners.
Make a Donation
Want to write a check? Send it to Running Free Alaska, PO Box 231982, Anchorage, AK 99523.
Want to use a credit card? Donate through a Facebook fundraiser (there are no fees!) or click on the button below.
Tax ID #45-5452867
Partner with Us
Our community partners support our runners in many ways. They hold fundraisers, donate to our race, support our program with in-kind donations, hire our runners, and promote our programs.
Hold a Fundraiser
There are many simple and easy ways to hold a fundraiser for Running Free Alaska. By holding a fundraiser for RFA you show that you care about incarcerated women and support an organization that helps them to live their best life.
Running Free 4 Miler
June 25, 7 p.m., 2020 to July 5, 12 midnight, 2020
General Manager/Head Coach
As a professional coach, I have seen running transform lives. I jumped at the opportunity when Tim first called and asked me to coach the first group of runners in 2012. I am so grateful to be at the ground level of helping women live their best lives.
Board of Directors
Ex-Officio Board Member
Running Free Alaska
PO Box 231982, Anchorage, AK 99523