In 1984 the Midnight Sun Run became an actual midnight sun as the start time was moved to 10p.m. The 1984 race was a truly memorable one, as it featured the debut of the costumed division, which was won that year by Bob Ritchie and Joe Kiff, who entered the race as a canoe. Race director Mike Styles said the idea of the costumed division, as well as some of the other race day activities, was to create a Fairbanks version of Bay to Breakers, a popular race in San Francisco known for its zany atmosphere. That year?s race also featured a spaghetti feed at the Traveler?s Inn, where various running films were shown to get runners pumped up for Saturday?s event.
It might have been billed as a fun event, but for Outside elite runners Tom Ratcliffe and Ron Gilooly, it was all about competition. Ratcliffe and Gilooly recorded the first and second fastest times in the race with times of 29:14 and 29:19, respectively. Those records still stand today. Gilooly was followed by Fort Yukon runner Pat Cross with a time of 30:14, Audun Endestad with a time of 31:42, and Pete Bolin with a time of 32:44.
The top woman runner was local standout Mara Rabinowitz, with an eye-popping time of 35:49. Rabinowitz was followed by Trish Livingston with a time of 38:50, Bobbi Fyten with a time of 39:12, Marion Jones with a time of 39:19, and Nancy Felix with a time of 39:23.