Thank you everyone for following the 2018 ITI! It was a great event. Thank you to all of our check points, lodges, sponsors, volunteers, lodge owners, trail breakers, trail support and everyone involved with the event on the trail and behind the scenes!!
We are looking forward to seeing you again in 2019! We will open entries to veterans April 1 and rookies on April 8th this month.
The 2019 application and payment system will be online soon!
We are looking forward to seeing everyone next year!
Kathi Merchant & Kyle Durand
co race directors
Beat Jegerlehner finished in Nome this afternoon in 27 days 1 hour and 47 minutes. Congratulations Beat! This is his 4th finish in Nome. He is the second runner this year to finish and the last racer in. 2018 ITI is a wrap! Until next year!
5 more racers finished in Nome at the end of the 1000 mile Iditarod Trail. Adam Erritzoe from Denmark finished in 6th place yesterday evening in 26 days 4 hours and 51 minutes.
Craig Bullen from Canada: 26 days 11 hours 41 minutes 7th place
Kyle Durand from Washington: 26 days 11 hours 43 minutes 8th place
Peter Ripmaster from North Carolina: 26 days 13 hours 44 minutes 9th place first runner
Toni Lund from Finland 26 days 19 hours 18 minutes 10th place
6 more racers, 4 bikers and 2 runners are on route to Nome today, traveling in a tight pack of 6.
We expect more finishers tonight in Nome.
Unfortunately Klaus decided to end his race in Unalakleet. He did send a message from Unalakleet this morning:
Dear Kathi, as my body has not recovered from the hard work from Iditarod to Kaltag, I was so unhappy with my performance on the stretch to Unalakleet that I decided to stop the race here! It is very sad but I do not feel safe stepping on the sea ice with no energy in spare. Despite that I do not and will not complain about anything, it is quite the opposite: I was surprised about far I could go but I made mistakes with my nutrition, lesson learned I guess!
I do not want to lose finger(s) and/or toes just because I push beyond my personal safety limits! Besides: Snowshoes suck: they are rubbing both of my shoe pairs so that little holes where moisture gets in during the day and in the night toes freeze!
However: I‘ll be back, another year another trail!! This one wa hard but golden, the end is sad for me but I had many hours to verify myself... If you do not feel that you get to Nome, you won‘t!!!
5 more racers are on route to Nome today. Kyle Durand, Adam Erritzoe, Toni Lund, Craig Bullen and Peter Ripmaster enjoyed Joanna's hospitality in White Mountain and they are on their final 77 miles to Nome now. Peter is the leading runner in the 1000 mile race.
Beat Jegerlehner is currently resting in White Mountain. Austrian Klaus is traveling over the Kaltag portage at a steady speed.
Troy Szcurkowski from Australia finishes his third 1000 mile race in Nome this afternoon in 23 days 22 hours 39 minutes! Congratulations Troy!
The leading runner Peter Ripmaster has caught the 4 bikers and they are currently resting in the school in Goloving. They have been crushed by the trail. They had to carry their bikes over snow drifts at times. This is a big snow year on the coast and the wind has been blowing steady as well. obliterating the trail with snow drifts.
The 4 bikers are planning to spend the night in Goloving and get a good rest, as well as the leading runner Peter. They plan to depart Golovin in the morning.
Two more runners are on the trail Beat and Klaus.Beat is on the way to Golovin. Klaus has left Kaltag today.
Quote RJ Sauer: 2014
"Inevitably the question is asked: ‘so why did you do it?’
EACH COMPETITOR HAS THEIR OWN REPLY. FOR ME THE REASONS ARE NUMEROUS AND SEEM ABUNDANTLY CLEAR. BUT I SUPPOSE LIKE SO MANY THINGS WORTH DOING, THE MOTIVATIONS BEHIND RACING 1000 MILES ALONG THE IDITAROD TRAIL ARE OFTEN MET WITH SKEPTICISM OR BEWILDERMENT AND THUS REMAIN EXQUISITELY OBSCURE. AND THIS OBSCURITY REMAINS ONE OF THE THE TRAIL’S MOST ALLURING QUALITIES."
It's been taking Troy much longer than expected to get into Nome with all the new snow, wind and snow drifts. He is currently 9 miles out of Nome at 10 am this morning.
Klaus Schweinberger called with Skype from Kaltag. He is in good spirits, the trek on the Yukon River was really slow he said. He did not see anyone out there. Only him and the 2 mile wide Yukon River. Quite a spiritual experience. He is glad to see people, find a warm place inside and a village to recuperate before tackling the 80 mile Kaltag portage from Kaltag to the coast in Unalakleet. There are two BLM shelter cabins on that stretch for him to stop and rest. Good luck Klaus!
Looks like the 4 bikers Kyle, Adam, Toni and Craig have made slow progress as well due to the many snow drifts on the trails. Peter Ripmaster the leading runner in the 1000 mile distance is about to catch up to them. He is currently only 3 miles behind them and moving at faster speeds walking than the 4 bikers pushing their bikes through snow drifts. Hang in there guys, patience and perserverance will get you to Nome!
The red lantern racer is Klaus Schweinberger from Austria. He has been on the Yukon River for nearly 5 days since leaving Grayling on March 15. He is 9 miles from the next village he will hit today after traveling alone on the 120 miles of frozen Yukon River. Klaus has been to Nome before on the Northern Route on a previous year. He is moving at 1.5 mph this morning. Keep on going Klaus!!
Cyclist as well as the runners left in the 2018 ITI 1000 mile event are reporting drifted in slow trails with sastrugi created by the wind making travel slow. Troy is currently resting at the Topkok musher's cabin only about 40 miles from Nome, RD Kyle, Adam, Toni and Craig are in Elim reporting similar slow, very challenging pushing conditions. Beat is reporting slow going on the sea ice as well with wind blown trails. There is not much traffic now on the trails with the Iditarod Dog Race finished. Be patient ITI racers and keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will get to Nome!
"Enduring 5 snow fronts in less than two days that buried the trail in over a foot of snow and winds that would knock us off our feet, we made the group decision to make camp after breaking trail for 16 hours. We dug a hole big enough for the 4 of us and used our bicycles and the removed snow to create a wind break, creating a calm port in the storm to cook dinner and to sleep for a few hours. #iti2018 — withCraig Anthony Bullen and Adam Erritzøe.
Peter Ripmaster is the leading racer in the running division. He is in and out of Koyuk this morning 22 days into the 2018 race. Way to go Peter. Finisher shirt, finisher patch and hand made winner coffee mug from Palmer Alaska is waiting for you in Nome!
Troy's trail report on the final stretch to Nome! Slow going for everyone out there with new snow, blowing snow, drifted in trails and slow trails. Be patient and good luck everyone out there.
It's why they are called push bikes.
Let's back up a day or so. I got into elim about 8am after that all night push through storm and drift, rested at the school for a few hours then headed out for golovin.
The overland track is real nice through the spruce forest, rideable trail with a firm base. Then the exposed climbs began of little mckinley and back to the pushing. Flat light with no contrast made it hard to spot the firm base as snow and drift covered the trail. On the final descent at about 10pm the storm hit hard. Hard tailwind and heavy snow with it, would guess about 35+knots. I quickly layered up and ate/drank some before I got too embedded in this monster as I was still a long way from to golovin. Trail obliterated no riding. Storm howled all the way until I got into golovin at 3am. Hit the school and rested till 1pm and headed for white mountain. Another push with warm conditions -2C no traffic and slightly drifted trail. I managed about 10% riding on this flat section, with tyres aired way down to the point where the carcass is in danger of damage. I'll be leaving white mountain early in the hope the cooler temps of night might firm the trail up a bit.
Final push to nome haha. Topkok hills and the coastal blowhole are the last challenges... get after it! Might be another 2 days yet. Now isn't the time to get complacent either. Might be close to the finish but the coast has some potentially nasty spots. As they say most accidents happen within 5km radius of home.
My feet are in great shape and my boots are great to walk in. Just get into that cathartic groove and savour the memories of the last few weeks of this great race.
Co race director Kyle Durand, Adam, Toni and Craig are moving slow as well pushing their bikes towares Elim. Troy is on the last few miles to Nome. It could take him another 24 hours to finish.
After winds blowing all night, the streets in Nome were snow covered from drifting snow this morning. 8 racers remain on the trail to Nome. 5 cyclist and 3 runners, the last Austrian Klaus Schweinberger is still on his way up the Yukon River to Kaltag.
Peter Ripmaster was having a good time with the local kids in Unalakleet. His is on his way to Koyuk. Behind him 1000 mile veteran with 3 finishes Beat Jegerlehner from Colorado.
The next biker in Nome is Troy Szcurkowski from Australia, a previous finisher in the 1000 mile event. Behind him is an international field with Adam Erritzoe from Denmark, Toni Lund from Finland, Craig Bullen from Canada and co race director Kyle Durand from Washington, all first timers riding to Nome. Trails have drifted in and the bikers are pushing their bikes in many section of the trail.
Current weather conditions in White Mountain
Snow showers likely. Areas of freezing fog. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Lows in the mid teens. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph.
Snow in the morning, then snow showers in the afternoon. Areas of freezing fog. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Highs in the upper 20s. South winds to 10 mph increasing to 10 to 20 mph with gusts to around 35 mph in the afternoon.
The remaining cyclist in the 2018 1000 mile ITI are getting caught in a coastal storm rolling in this morning into the Bering Sea Coast between Uanalakleet and Nome. Troy is ahead and made it into Elim. Kyle Durance reports a tough 19 hour push from Shaktoolik to Koyuk last night traveling with Adam, Craig and Toni. They are currently resting, eating at the school in Koyuk. There is a winter weather advisory with winds gusts of up to 25 mph and low visibility due to blowing snow until tomorrow 7 AM Sunday morning.
3 bikers rode into Nome together under blue sunny skies and 2 degrees in 19 days and 2 hours. Congratulations. Phil Hofstetter's 5th finish, Jay Cable's second and Kevin's first under the burled arch in Nome.
Nome local Phil Hofstetter and Fairbanks riders Kevin Breitenbach and Jay Cable are on their way to Nome this morning about 37 miles out. They left White Mountain early this morning. Reports are the winds are blowing 35-40 mph on the stretch to Safety.
This is my second day in Nome waiting for more racers to arrive. The next 3 riders are Nome local Phil Hofstetter and Jay Cable and Kevin Breitenbach from Fairbanks. They have left Elim this morning and are on their way to Golovin. Troy Szcurkowski from Australia is crossing the sea ice between Shaktoolik and Koyuk. Co race director Kyle Durand, Toni Lund from Finland, Craig Bullen, Adam Erritzoe from Denmark are on their way to Shaktoolik.
Beat gave this report from the Kaltag portage today.
"The Thursday morning report from Beat Jegerlehner: He had a good rest in Kaltag and is now on the move over the portage, leaving the Yukon River to traverse a wide pass to the coast at Unalakleet. Trail conditions are still drifted and soft, but he's been moving well after good sleep in the Kaltag School, his first indoor space in three days. Peter is back on a mission, flying down the trail this morning. Beat knows he still has a long way to go, and is content to continue his well-practiced methods of travel. The photo is one of Beat's, blowing snow on the Kaltag Portage in 2013.
Jay Petervary rolled in under the burled arch among the top ten Iditarod mushers under sunny calm day in Nome today at 2:45 PM. He holds a new Southern Route record with 16 days 23 hours and 45 minutes! Congratulations Jay. This is his 4th finish in Nome and third win. The next cyclist are Nome local Phil Hofstetter (a previous winner) and Fairbanks riders Jay Cable ( a previous winner) and Kevin Breitenbach. They are in Koyuk and two days behind Jay. This might be the biggest lead a racer in the ITI has had over the next rider in the 1000 mile distance!
There was a crowd of mushers, Iditarod fans, Kathi Merchant, co race director, Bjorn Olson and Kim McNett, well known Alaskan fat bike expeditions bikers had flown in to ride to Fairbanks from Nome. greeting as Jay rolled in with a big smile and great trail stories of endurance and perseverence with hundreds of miles of soft trail conditions. Well done Jay. Beers and pizza, shower and a bed in Nome are well deserved!
Jay is out of White Mountain on the final 77 mile stretch to Nome. I am flying out in the morning. I hope I can beat him to the finish line unter the burled arch in Nome!
Phil Hofstetter is reporting strong winds on the flats near Shaktoolik. It was blowing 30 mph, with lots of snow to drift and trails to drift in. Kevin and Jay C are also held up there. They plan to depart Shaktoolik tonight when winds are supposed to die down.
Troy S. was making 9.5 mph on the portage trail with Kyle, Adam Toni and Craig B in tow. Trails must be good for them for now!
The weather forecast for Shaktoolik:
A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly after 10am. Cloudy, with a high near 25. Northeast wind around 10 mph.
Snow likely. Areas of freezing fog. Cloudy, with a low around 12. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly before 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 18. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph.
Race leader Jay Petervary is on his way to Golovin coming off LIttle McKinley which can be a very windy spot on the trail.The three Alaskans traveling together Kevin, Jay C and Phil are departing Shaktoolik after spending the night there and are getting ready to cross the sea ice to Koyuk.
The next 5 cyclist, Kyle, Adam who was having rear hub issues, Craig, Toni and Troy are currently still in Kaltag.
Great write up by Craig Bullen:
Iditarod trail invitational Knik to Nome, Day 14, mile 643
So I made it to Kaltag this morning. After probably the best ride of my life. 75 miles up the Yukon River. The first 15 miles were really slow I could not get going! The previous day I was on the move for 21 hours and motivated to take advantage of rare good conditions and made 87 miles of good progress. Exhausted and drenched in sweat I did not sleep warm. Even though my bag is rated for -48.
I stopped at the Iditarod dog race check point for a while, chatted to the racers, took pictures and had some coffee. It was 6 pm when I got back on my bike and I was starting to feel quite good. After a while I started to really push and the ambition to reach Kaltag in one shot was beginning to form. I decided to push to within 30 miles before I would stop to make myself a hot drink and snack, I melted more snow for hot drinks later on.
It was -15 and I was sweating hard and feeling stronger still, I should not be feeling this way after 8 hours of riding a 75lb fat bike. The feeling of just being able to push harder and harder was exhilarating , it was awesome. I attacked the trail like it was a time trial for the last 25 miles. I blew past the other racers as they were asleep in their bags on the snow. It was 4 am and there were no more tire tracks in front of me. Tearing down the wide Yukon in the dark, my headlamp not powerful enough to reach the banks either side of me. The surroundings were surreal and I was euphoric, this was amazing. At Six am I ride up off the river and into the ramshackle streets of Kaltag. In the check point I sat and breathed hard for about 20 mins. I went up stairs to see the on shift vets ready to check in the Next Dog team. I insisted that one of the bewildered Vets give me a high 5 before I pounded down a big handful of cookies they offered me. Best ride of my life.
co race director
Race leader in the 1000 mile event Jay Petervary has left Koyuk this morning and is moving along at 5.5 mph.
Phil has departed Unalakleet.
Here is the weather forecast for the area:
Cloudy with a chance of snow. Areas of freezing fog in the afternoon. Highs in the upper teens to mid 20s. Northeast winds to 10 mph.
Mostly cloudy. A chance of snow in the evening, then a slight chance of snow after midnight. Lows 9 to 12 above. North winds to 10 mph.
Kevin and Jay C have made it into Unalakleet.
From Jay Cable's face book page "Unalakleet!
The highlight of yesterday's ride was getting a fist bump from Hugh Neff while on the trail, then hanging out with him and listening to his stories for a bit at old woman cabin."
from Kevin:"Back in unalakeet a year and one day since last time. Think Jay and I might just go for a bike ride today!"
Kyle and Adam report blizzard conditions getting into Kaltag.
Peter and Beat are on route to Eagle Island. Klaus is out of Iditarod.