Race Update – 5 March 2013

The last 3 racers left Nikolai mile 300 early this morning: Shawn, Tony, Cookie. I got a sat phone call from Bob Ostrom this morning at 9:47 am.

He is in Iditarod, between Ophir and Shageluk. There is no trail in yet beyond Iditarod. He is helping with the Iditarod check point there.

More news later this afternoon. We are almost ready to wrap up the 350 mile race in McGrath.We will keep track of the Nome racers on XCtrails, here on latest new as well as our face book page.

Thank you everyone for checking in and following along this year.

Kathi M.

Race Update – 4 March 2013

7 days and 10 hours into the 2013 Iditarod Trail Invitational only 5 runners have yet to arrive in McGrath. The rest finished in record time, with NO scratches this year andnew records.  On to Nome are Bob Ostrom,Ausilia Vistarini and Sebastiano Favaro from Italy.

We will continue to cover the progress on our leader board and as well as face book updates.

Nome racers Anne Ver Hoef, Marco Berni,Tim Hewitt and his wife Loreen, Beat Jegerlehner are still in McGrath tonight.  Tim Hewitt is bivied outside since his trip is completely self supported pulling a 100 lbs sled with food and fuel for 24 days.  Still on the trail tonight on the 7th day of the race are Shawn McTaggert Howard Cook and Klaus Schweinberger also planning to to to Nome, Tony Covarrubias and Steve Ansell who will finish in McGrath.

Craig Medred wrote a great article today in the Alaska Dispatch what’s ahead for the sled dogs and what a super highway the Iditarod Trail has been so far for the ITI.

Sounds like it is a record year out there on the trail maybe for the mushers as well, at least to Nikolai and McGrath. Who knows what happens on the trail beyond or what the weather or wind will do to the trail.

Bill M. is still in Rohn waiting for the dog teams soon to arrive.

We leave up our Wall Tent for the mushers to use as well and Bill keeps the wood stove going and hot water ready for the mushers.

More updates in the morning.

Kathi M.

Race Update – 3 March 2013

Today is Sunday March 3 restart of the Iditarod sled dog race in Willow.  The ITI race is going on 7 days. 32 racers have finished in McGrath.

The last 3 that had gotten off trail are in and out of Rohn this morning Shawn Tony and Cookie.

Anchorage runner Anne Ver Hoef sets a new foot record shaving over 11 hours off the previous record: 6 days 12 hours 20 minutes. Congratulations Anne!

We will continue to update the leader board and you can follow the racers to Nome here also on XCtrails:

Anne as well as cyclists Ausilia and Sebastiano are expected to continue on to Nome sometime today.

Kathi M.

Race Update – 2 March 2013

Still waiting on Jim Barkeley this morning. Cyclist Aaron Fanetti finished in McGrath this morning. Well done Aaron!!

Bob Ostrom is the first racer to check out of McGrath this mornhing at 9:30 have a safe journey Bob! We might hear from him from Takotna, but then not until Shageluk mile 487.

New update from Rohn: Bill Merchant called me on our sat phone.

Klaus is there, not Cookie Shawn or Tony. Klaus had followed their tracks, but realized they were going the wrong way. There were snow machine tracks veering off the the right. Klaus realized it was the wrong direction and corrected his course. OE is warming up the plane in Rohn this morning. No worries family and fans!
They will loose time over this, but they are not in any danger. I will get a report from OE after he takes a flyover to see where they are. I also checked in with Puntilla, they are not bacj there. We are looking for them. More updates this afternoon on that.

Thanks Armin with XCT trails , map is current:

Kathi M.

Race Update – 1 March 2013

Currently 1 F in McGrath. Noaa forecast for the McGrath area:
Tonight: Mostly cloudy. Scattered flurries east of mcgrath. Lows zero to 8 above. Light winds.

Saturday: Mostly cloudy in the morning then clearing. Highs in the upper teens. Light winds.

Saturday Night: Mostly clear. Lows 8 below to 4 above. Northeast winds to 10 mph.

23 racers have arrived in McGrath so far. the last one was Dan Jansen this afternoon. Ausilia, Sebastiano, Joe Grant, Joe Logar and Jim Barkely are on the home stretch to McGrath. There is 20 more racers behind them on the trail across the Farewell Burn, once the largest burnt area in North America. It is the place where racers have had hallucinations during the race. It is a long desolate stretch across barren wilderness inhabited by wolves and a wild herd of buffalo. There is one place to find shelter in the Bear Creek public use shelter cabin put in place by the BLM. The BLM is the overall manager of the historic Iditarod Trail and has several of those cabins in place. In the past 3 years they have added some between Ophir and Ruby (Northern Route/even years) and Ophir and Shageluk on the Southern Route/odd year on the trail to Nome.
This year the Nome racers will follow the the Southern Route, we switch every other year just like Iditarod does. For many the Southern Route is thought to be harder, because it is only used every 2 years where the Northern Route is used every year by the Iron Dog Snowmobile race ( which starts a week before the ITI) and part of it follows and old road bed into Ruby.

Only 1 woman ever has traveled the distance on foot (officially) Janine Duplessis with her husband on their honeymoon in 2000 in 41 days 10 hours and 30 minutes. This year we have 3 very qualified with one or more 350 finishes signed up: Anne Ver Hoef, Loreen Hewitt and Shawn McTaggert.
Tim Hewitt is walking and running to Nome self supported with a 100 lbs sled, carrying all his own food and fuel for 24 days.
The first racer to depart McGrath on his way to Nome is Bob Ostrom who arrived in McGrath about 24 hours ago. The next bikers on the trail heading for Nome are Ausilia and Sebastiano and veteran racer couple for Italy.

This year 12 racers have signed up the the 1000 mile distance. Since the inaugural year of 2000 only 36 individuals have finished the 1000 mile distance human powered. Tim Hewitt has finished it 6 times on foot. More stats and finishers are found here:

This year’s ITI will go into the history books with the largest number of athletes at the starting line with 48, no scratches on day 5, it looks like all 48 will make it to McGrath and the Nome racers another 650 miles, new records, fastest finishing times overall. Record year for the racers and the ITI organizers. A big success!

Good night.

Kathi M.

Race Update – 1 March 2013

My internet conection is slow this morning, trying hard to get the info out there.

Our longtime McGrath host Peter Schneiderheinze is cooking up a storm this morning feeding 20 racers man cakes! Peter & Tracey we could not do this race and offer such an amazing finish line without you two!!!!!

There are no Thursday flights out of McGrath right now, so there were 19 racers at the Schneiderheinze’s house this morning having breakfast. A big shout out to Peter & Tracey Schneiderheinze and all the other wonderful check point hosts hosting our racers!!!!

First phone call from Rohn this morning from Iditarod volunteer Lisa Jaeger. Most racers have arrived and departed Rohn. Only 4 left to arrive: Shawn, Tony, Klaus and Cookie.
Bill Merchant arrived back in Rohn at 3:00 AM. They had a busy night there with many racers arriving and departing. Thanks to the crew there, Rob Kehrer and OE, Lisa, Terry, Jasper!!!

Kathi M.

Race Update – 28 February 2013

This is a phenomenal year for the Iditarod Trail Invitational race. So far we have seen new records, no scratches and racers moving along the trail posting amazing times. It will be a year to remember.

I went to the Iditarod banquet in the Danaina Center tonight. Kay Parks did the updates and leaderboard for me. Runner David Johnston has already checked out of Nikolai and has 11.5 hours to best Steve Reifenstuhl’s record of 4 days and 15 hours (2005). Can he do it? He seems very determined only stopping 43 minutes in Nikolai. He has been setting a very fast and steady pace this race. It’s possible. He will find out in the morning. He needs to arrive in McGrath before 5 AM to break the fastest time on foot between Knik to McGrath.

Runner David Johnston from Willow has a chance cracking the 2005 record on foot set by Steve Reifenstuhl in 2005. He needs to arrive in McGrath before 5 am.

We might also see a new women’s foot record. Anne Ver Hoef is already out of Rohn and could set a new record. The current record holder Loreen Hewitt was a little over 3 hours behind her out of Puntilla, the exact time is unknown, we know that Anne left Rohn ahead of Loreen. What and incredible year!

There was only one racer not in Puntilla at 20:25. Klaus.

Rohn is a really busy check point tonight. The check point is a 10×20 foot Wall Tent with a wood stove. Several racers are sleeping outside, there is just not enough room for so many people a the same time.

The temperatures were rather mild in Rohn today, 20 F in the daytime.

More updates in the morning.

Kathi M.


Race Update – 28 February 2013

Eszter Horanyi sets a new women’s overall course record in the 350: 3 days 16 hours and 20 min. She shaves 6 hours off the previous record held by Louise Kobin. Eszter is an accomplished ultra racer, mountain biker, backcountry skier, but this was her first race in the Iditarod Trail Invitational. She finishes 10th overall.

3 time defending champ and Peter Basinger finished one hour and 20 minutes before her this morning.

All but one racer have checked out of the Winterlake Lodge check point and many more have arrived and departed from the halfway point at Puntilla. More racers are arriving in McGrath at the finish line this morning. The next ones are Eric Warkentin and Jay Cable how have been travelling together.

Kathi M.

Another great article by Craig Medred in the Alaska Dispatch this morning:

about Canadian racer and oldest in this year’s race Lindsay Gauld who had a brush with terrible frostbite in last year’s race.


Race Update – 27 February 2012

It has been a busy day for us here at HQ for me and friend Dani finding out where racers are on the trail. Reports were coming in from all sorts of sources. There were very few snowmachiners on the Yentna River which is rather unusual for this popular snowmachine area. We did finally have arrivals by runners at Yentna Station the first check point 59 miles up the trail. Rich Crain our checker and volunteer at Yentna Station was busy hauling some racers to Luce’s Lodge, 9 miles downriver. No bikers have left Luce’s Lodge. The ones that had arrived this afternoon had gotten a cabin to spend the night. They must be really beat and tired and/or are playing it smart and are waiting for the trails to firm up overnight. Temperatures are supposed to drop tonight on the river to zero to 10 above and winds 10 -20 mph. It was -4 F in Rohn when I spoke with Bill Merchant in at 9 pm.

This year is sure a game changer. Mother nature threw a curveball in the race early making travel difficult for walkers and bikers. It has been 11 years since runners took the lead in this race on this early part of the course.

39 racers are left in the race, 8 racers scratched only 33 hours into this race. Runners are in the lead. We will see how tomorrow unfolds and if the trails firm up tonight. It is supposed to cool off. Rohn was already at -4 F. Let’s hope for firm trails tomorrow.

Runner Tim Hewitt and six time finisher of the 1000 mile race to Nome is in the lead!

He left Yentna Station at 8:00PM after only resting there for 43 minutes!

Looking forward getting updates from Skwentna Roadhouse in the morning!


Race Update – 27 February 2013

New champion Jay Petervary from Idaho!

2 days 19 hours 16 min.

New blazing fast course record in the 350!

Second place Alaskan Tim Berntson 2 days 19 hours 50 minutes. Third place a tie from Fairbanks boys Jeff Oately and Kevin Breitenbach. 5th place rookie Anchorage racer John Lackey. All five finishers times so far are 9 and 10 hours faster than the previous record held by Peter Basinger (2007). For the first time in race history the course records have gone under the 3 day mark. What an amazing field of athletes out there.

Eszter Horanyi on record setting pace too in her rookie year on the trail. David Johnston from Willow expected in Rohn this morning leading the running division. Anne Ver Hoef from Anchorage leading female runner at the moment out of Winterlake Lodge. No scratches so far. Zoe at Shell Lake reported everyone is through Shell Lake this morning, last racers on the trail Shawn McTaggert, Tony Covarrubias and Klaus Schweinberger.

More news later this afternoon.

Kathi M.

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