Jimmy Haigh arrived in McGrath yesterday wrapping up another successful 350 mile ITI. Congratulations to all the racers who finished. We had several amazing performances this year. Pete Basinger nearly broke his own record to win for his 5th time. Lou Cobin shattered the women's 350 bike record by more than 20 hours with her 3 day 22 hour 20 minute finish in 4th place over all. Loreen Hewitt broke her women's foot record for the second time in 6 days 23hours 30 miinutes. Ausillia Vistarini became the first female to finish on a single speed establishing a new record for that discipline of 5 days 5 hours 50 minutes. Rookie Lance Andre who finished in 8th place 4 days 2 hours 10 minutes was given the tough guy award by our official trail reporter from the Alaska Dispatch Craig Medred after he talked to Lance by phone in the hospital post race. Seems he finished with a displaced fracture in his leg, a mild concussion and an arm he broke in a fall on the Post River Glacier. Here's to a speedy recovery Lance!
Thanks to Greg Matyas for the pre race party at Speedway Cycles and Ann Ver Hoef and Michael Schoder for the pre race dinner. Thanks Irene for receiving all the drop bags and mothering some of our racers at Alaskan European B&B. Thanks to Rob Kehrer who was the driving force behind the great trail over the Pass as our head trailbreaker and for his always stellar job as our Rohn checker and to OE an Iditarod checker who teamed up with us for the second year to break trail and help out in Rohn. Thanks to all the checkpoints : Dan and Jean Gabryszak and Rich Crain at Yentna Station, Mark and Cindi at Skwentna Roadhouse, Zoe at Shell Lake, Carl and Kirsten and the crew at Winter Lake lodge, Mike and Ingrid at Finn Bear lake, Steve Perrins Jr. and crew atRainy Pass lodge, Nick, Olene, and Stephanie Petruska in Nikolai and to Peter and Tracy Schneiderheinze our wonderful hosts in McGrath. Thanks to all the folks in town, on the trail and in the villages not mentioned who give their time and hospitality to make the race the great event it has become.
Good luck to the 6 racers (5 officially) who are headed up the Yukon, over the Portage and up the coast to Nome.
A huge thanks to all of you who lined up at the start in Knik. We hope to see you back with us for another race on the Iditarod Trail in 2012.
Entries for next year begin with veteran finisher registration April 1st - 7th. Rookie registration begins on April 8th. Even with a full roster of 50 we have never had more than 45 racers start the race due to late withdrawals, injuries, jobs, family etc. Because of this and all the increased interest in the race I have relented and will sign up 55 racers for 2012 to give more qualified racers a chance to join the ITI family for our annual reunion on the Idtarod Trail.
All the Best in the coming year!!!!!!!
Bill & Kathi Merchant
Alaska Ultra Sport