Wednesday, 25 February 2009


The adventure is about to begin. The preparations are done. The contestants are lining up. Nervously anticipating racing over hundreds of miles of frozen Alaska. Wondering if they prepared everything right. Will their gear hold out? Will their bodies hold out? Will they be able to consume enough calories? Can they stand the overnight bivvies in sub-zero temperatures?

Questions start to be answered next week. The race starts Sunday as competitors head off on foot, skis and bikes. Conditions will dictate which method has the advantage. What do they win? Knowledge, self belief and membership of an elite endurance club. I kind of envy them but if I had my time again, I don't know if I would tackle anything so extreme. Still interesting though, even for an armchair 'athlete'.

Main site: Iditarod Ultrasport Invitational

I'll be checking site above and the blogs below for updates as the race progresses and reports afterwards. The story of human endurance never fails to inspire and the photos are great as well.

Kathi & Bill Merchant (organisers)

A selection of the 50 competitors:

Bill Dent (UK, bike 350 miles)
Aidan Harding (UK, bike 350 miles, single speed endurance racer) (bikemagic article)
Jill Homer (USA, bike 350 miles)
James Leavesley (UK, bike 1100 miles - Must have enjoyed it so much on the 350 last year. James uses Buffalo Pertex and pile clothing system, which is the same as the jacket I wear for winter cycling. I'm impressed he used it in Alaska and curious to know what he wore underneath - The principle of the system is wearing it next to the skin!)
John Ross (UK, bike 350 miles, endurance racer)

Howard Cook (UK, foot 350 miles)
Steve Evans (Welsh, foot 350 miles, consultant geriatrician from Guernsey)
Roger Leavesley (UK, foot 350 miles, James Leavesley's dad)
Geoff Roes (USA, foot 350 miles)

Good luck all.

1 comment:

GenghisKhan said...

Yeah, good luck to all, especially James Leavesley--yikes!