Team “Crawl if you Have to” honoured the memory of Travis Adams during the 2023 Klondike Road Relay (KRR).
The KRR took place Sept. 8-9 from Skagway to Whitehorse.
Adams, 43, died on July 5, 2020, after his motorcycle was hit by a car on the Alaska Highway near the Lewes River Bridge.
The team was sponsored by Nuway Crushing, the family business which Adams ran and, as his sister Tara Larkin said, “put his heart and soul into.”
According to Larkin, Adams was team captain with “Crawl If You Have To” for between 12 and 15 years.
“He inspired most people on our team, if not everybody, to learn how to run, and then run in the road relay. And so, when he passed in 2020, after getting the Senator’s Cup himself in 2019, we knew that it was really important to carry on the ritual of joining the road relay every year.”
(The Senator’s Cup honours runners who’ve completed every leg of the race.)
This is the first year the team has ran since Adams passed.
“We registered for the road relay last year and canceled at the last minute because we weren’t prepared emotionally for dealing with that.”
Larkin said after watching the other runners coming in, they were disappointed they hadn’t ran.
“So we said, ‘Okay, next year we’re doing it for sure.’”
Adams’ partner Jennifer DeHart gave the team some of his running gear, including one of his prized possessions.
“When they saw him running, that was the one thing that they pictured him in, which was his running jacket. It was this blue reflective running jacket,” related Larkin.
Then there was Adams’ collection of headbands. Throughout the race, the team randomly wore the headbands. They also wore the jacket while warming up before each leg they ran.
“We got a picture of every single runner on the team wearing his running jacket throughout the race, including our designated driver and teammate who wasn’t able to run this year, but was Travis’s best friend, Damien Burns. So that was how we honoured him,” recalled Larkin.
They also attached huge red 55 stickers to the team’s support vehicle, Adams’ motorhome, which they used to use every year for the race. As many Yukon residents know, 55 was Adams’ motocross racing number.
Larkin explained the effect Adams had on the team.
“I think it’s the sense of belonging, the camaraderie, getting everyone together and everybody’s in really good spirits and achieving goals and seeing themselves succeed. There was so much to it that he really loved and encouraged among all of us.”
Needless to say, it meant a lot to the team to honour Adams’ memory this way.
“He was very kind hearted, always thinking beyond himself. So one of the things he did to encourage all of us to do this race was to coach us through, cheerlead us on, encouraged us, give us tips and tricks and boost our confidence. Most of us probably weren’t runners before.
“He got us started in it and so part of it to me was just carrying on that legacy of his. He inspired so many people. I also know how much he loved it.
“I think it was also important for not just us, but the whole running community to see us back out there again and doing it again. So it was important for so many reasons.”
“Crawl If You Have To” performed very well under the circumstances.
“I think that every single runner on the team blew past their goals or at the very least, met their expectations,” related Larkin. “Without (having) the full results, I think this one was our fastest run ever as a team. Usually we’ve come in at the 17 or 18 hour mark. I think we were in in the 16 hours mark.”
Regarding finally running again, Larkin said, “It was actually really good timing. We all know that. We were hesitant to when we registered, but we all knew it had to happen and we were in it together and so it actually couldn’t have gone better.”