A uniquely Alaskan footrace “I’m done with that forever!” I shouted into the sunlit yellow birch and aspen forest. After descending the fabled, steep chute section at mile 17 of the Equinox Marathon in Fairbanks, I felt elated and needed to announce my accomplishment to the trees. At that point in the race, runners were spread out along the 26.2-mile course. Under a miraculously blue autumnal sky, the sparsely populated route felt serene. Gaining 3,200-plus feet of elevation, the Equinox is one of the most difficult races in the world. But you wouldn’t know it from local runners. Fairbanks competitors are extraordinarily humble, yet hardy people. I am not one of those people. I count myself lucky to run a mile. I’d refused several alcoholic beverages along the route from encouraging volunteers at homemade aid stations nearing the top of Ester Dome. “Need a beer?” someone asked as I jogged…