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Kathi Merchant


“Never stop traveling and exploring!”

Moving to Alaska, fat biking and the organization of the ITI has been a defining event in my life and has stayed with me for 17 years.

After my first visit to Alaska in 1996 on a 3 week backpacking trip I knew I wanted to move to Alaska, a land wild and big and offering a lifestyle full of adventures in the outdoors. In 2002 I moved from a small dairy farm in Bavaria Germany to the Last Frontier and started fat biking and organizing the ITI.
I have competed in the event 3 times (2005, 2006, 2008). In 2008, I became the first woman to ride a fat bike to Nome, the full 1000 mile distance on the Iditarod Trail and the took on the role as race director in 2009.

To date organizing and competing in the ITI have been my biggest accomplishments in life in my professional and athletic career.

The ITI attracts athletes from all around the world and has inspired many ITI qualifier in other states and other continents.

I continue to have a huge passion for Alaska, fat biking and the Iditarod Trail to this day.

Since I arrived in Alaska my life has been defined by working as a kayaking, rafting, backpacking guide in Alaska and mountain bike guide in Southern Utah.  Mountain biking has been my passion for over 15 years and I continue to ride, explore and race on remote trails all over the world.


Kyle Durand


“Life's full potential can only be realized through seeking, enduring and relishing adventure.”

As a retired 28-year combat veteran of the United States military, Kyle has been blown up, drowned, shot at, frozen, broiled and starved. After leaving the military, he has continued to lead an adventurous lifestyle, exploring the farthest reaches of the globe.

He has completed many athletic challenges including several ultramarathons, over 100 triathlons, riding his bicycle from Alaska to Mexico and was a finalist on American Ninja Warrior. He has finished multiple winter ultra events, including the ITI four times on bike and foot.

Among his various pursuits, he leads the Intrepid Path Association, a non-profit that helps people from all walks of life change their lives through challenge and discovery.