Today the first of the fat-tire cyclists crossed the Alaska range passing Puntilla Lake and Rainy Pass Lodge on route to MaGrath/ Nome. They are the first of the Iditarod Trail Invitational multi-sport competitors. Some will go 350 miles to MaGrath while others will take on the 1000+ mile journey all the way to Nome. These endurance athletes are either cycling, skiing or simply running. They must carry all their survival gear for possible -50 degree temperatures while crossing some of Alaska’s most rugged terrain. They follow the same trail as the Iron Dog snowmobilers and the Iditarod dog mushers, expect they are doing it by their own power. Wow.
Rainy Pass Lodge is one of the many checkpoints provided for these athletes. We give them a rustic but warm cabin, hot drinks and canned soup. Not much to most people, but a palace to hard working competitors who have been out in the cold, sweating, pedaling and crossing mountains all day.
So far we have only met a few of the cyclists but over the next few days we will get a chance to meet the skiers and runners. Can’t wait to hear the stories of more of these amazing athletes!