In just 4 weeks many of us will be at the starting line for the 9th annual Iditarod Trail Invitational. The trails are hard and fast here around Chickaloon and so it seems everywhere else too.
Michael Schoder sent word that Iron Dog racers have made it to McGrath and said there is very little snow on the Burn.
Kathi has contacted the village schools beyond McGrath and it has been a low snow year so far all the way to Nome with gravel bars showing on the Yukon.
Nick and Olene Petruska have just told me they will be our checkpoint again in Nikolai despite Nick still being weak from his fight with bladder cancer. They have opened their home to us since the race began welcoming trail weary, smelly racers like they are family. Thanks Nick, Olene and Stephanie. It wouldn't be the same without you!
Craig Medred the Outdoors Editor for the Anchorage Daily News for many years is now writing for the Alaska Dispatch. If everything comes together he will be on the Trail covering our race and Iditarod. He will be using a sat phone and data link to Tweet and Peep and whatever else modern journalists and networking buffs do. Craig has written dozens of articles about the race and even helped break trail one year. He should be able to do better than most covering the race from the trail. Craig asked me to pass this on to all of you: "but as a test-run, i'm trying to get AlaskaDispatch.com to go for full on coverage of the invitational. along those lines, it would help if you all sent the racers an emailing saying we're hoping to cover and Twitter the race from on the course, and if any of them have any contacts at publications or websites -- especially in Europe or Outside -- that would be interested in coverage, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org".
For the third year Greg Matyas and the gang at Speedway Cycles are hosting a pre race party for all racers. It will be held at Speedway Cycles (Home of the Fatback snow bike) on Friday, February 26th at 6:00 PM.
Thanks Greg for getting everyone together before we hit the trail.
Drops are due at Alaska European B&B by noon on Saturday, February 20th.
The Pre Race meeting will be at 2:00 pm on Saturday, February 27th at the Golden Lion Best Western.
We will begin loading bikes at 10:30 AM and the bus loads for Knik Lake at 11:00 AM at the Golden Lion. Just a reminder GPS trackers such as spot,etc are not allowed in the race. Racers may use Sat phones and or emergency locator beacons as well as gps devices designed for navigation not tracking.
Enjoy your last few training runs, rides, skis.
Bill and Kathi