Peter Basinger wins the 350 mile McGrath race for the unprecedented 6th time. Congratulations Pete! I expect that qualifies you for the Iditarod Trail Hall of Fame. To win the mens foot division Geoff Rose edged out former race winner and 6 time Nome finisher Tim Hewitt right at the finish. Ausila Vistarini won the womens bike division and Anna Ver Hoef won the womens overall.Â Anne became our first foot person to win the overall women’s race to McGrath. Geoff and Tim gave theÂ bikersÂ Pete, Phil and PavelÂ a run for their money all the way to Rohn and were still hot on their heels by Nikolai. We had 18 racers who pushed on through conditions that had local freight haulers on snowmachinesÂ turning back to SkwentnaÂ because of blizzard conditions and deep snow. They pushed on through soft conditions nearly the entire way to finish inÂ McGrath. Some even managed while battling the Rohn Plague. Congratulations to you all!
Â Â Â Thank you toÂ the people who made this year’sÂ race happen. From the pre race party at Speedway Cycles hosted by Fatback designer Greg Matyas to the Finish Line at Peter and Tracy Scneiderheinze’s home and everyplaceÂ in between. WhenÂ a need arose someone stepped up to help.Â Thanks to theÂ racers andÂ all the great folks at the checkpoints, trail volunteers, trailbreakers and supporters of the race in Anchorage, the Valley and in the communities on the Trail. Former racers and some who scratched jumped in to help with internet coverage, pictures, stories and attempting to explain to fans outside the circles the complexities of reporting and communications on the Trail. By being great ambassadors all of you racers former and present have helped develop a supportiveÂ Iditarod Trail Invitational community on the trail which respects our efforts that includes not only community members but Iditarod volunteers, mushers and even the Iditarod trail breakers. They told me they were a bit sad not to see any of us on the Nome Trail this year. John Baker last years Iditarod winner told me in Rohn he was going to get a snow bike to trainÂ off season on the beaches of Kotzebue. OnlyÂ veterans of the early racesÂ understand what a hugeÂ change this is from the early years but we have come a long way.Â Thanks to all of you who made that happen.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â I will finish this with a quote from Ausilia Vistarini said after she arrived in McGrath with a smile and a sparkle in her eyes, ” Last year was a vacation. This year it was REAL Alaska!
Â Â Â Â Â Â I hope to see you all back again next year to see what the Trail has in store for us.
Iditarod Trail Invitational
trail manager/wilderness guide