Andrew Moore Harrington, a talented endurance athlete, dedicated coach and community volunteer, passed away in the evening on Oct. 28, 2020 at age 40. Drew leaves behind a spirit of civic duty, not only in regards to the trails he groomed, maintained, skied, ran, hiked and walked his dogs on, but also in his career at the state of Alaska Department of Natural Resources where he worked as a water resources specialist.
Drew grew up in Washington, D.C., and spent summers at his family's cottage in upstate New York. He was a competitive swimmer through high school and then college at Alfred University in New York state. He arrived in Alaska in summer of 2003 to do a year's service with AmeriCorps; he found his home in Fairbanks and never left. In 2011, Drew completed a Master's of Science in natural resources management from UAF while also working for Camp Fire Alaska and serving as Youth Sports Director at Fort Wainwright.
Drew refused to allow a diagnosis of brain cancer in 2014 define his life. He carried his illness with quiet grace and a good dose of defiance. He continued to pursue his love of the outdoors and community, running four Equinox Marathons, as well as participating in AlaskAcross, the Wilderness Classic and the White Mountains 100 after his diagnosis. Always more than a participant, Drew founded the Angel Creek 50 Miler in 2015. He was involved in directing several local races including the Tanana River Challenge and the Northern Trail Running Series. He was voted the 2010 Running Club North Race Director of the Year for organizing the Northern Trail Running Series.
Drew finished some of Alaska's toughest endurance events including Crow Pass Crossing, Kesugi Ridge Traverse, Chena River to Ridge, Alaska Endurance Trail Run, the Frosty Bottom, and others. He was known for encouraging beginners and inviting participants of all abilities and ages. In the past three years, he dedicated personal resources and time to repairing the shelter cabin on the Chena Dome Trail. Before his death, the cabin was dedicated in his honor as the Drew Harrington Shelter Cabin.
Drew also found time to volunteer as a swim coach for the Lathrop/Hutchison/Monroe swim team. He was a photographer, a reader and a dog-lover. He loved working in his yard, pulling dandelions, and cutting wood. He dedicated many winter hours to grooming the Rosie Creek trails near his home, an activity he especially enjoyed with his new Skandic snowmachine. Drew was always kind and he kept his sense of humor and humility until the end.
The last seven years of his life, Drew shared with Molly Yazwinski who he married in 2015. Together they ran, skied and hiked the trails of Alaska, journeyed to New Zealand and enjoyed Molly's good cooking with friends. Drew is survived by his wife, Molly, mother, Candy Harrington, brother, sister-in-law and nieces, Rob, Stacie, Maddie and Abby Harrington and his dog, Kelsie.
For those wishing to remember Drew, Molly requests they make a donation to a local trails, sporting or outdoor group to encourage and enable others to pursue the activities that Drew so loved. For some suggestions, please see: tinyurl.com/yyrxkotj.
There will be an outdoor celebration of Drew's life in summer 2021.
Published by Daily News-Miner on Nov. 8, 2020.