Right now the Iditarod Trail Invitational is going on in Alaska. No I don’t mean the famous dog sled race (although that is going on now too). I’m talking about the Trail invitational that involves people on foot, skis and bike, running, skiing or biking 130, 350 or 1000 mile across the Alaskan wildness.
The 1000 mile race runs from Knik Lake outside of Anchorage to Nome Alaska. For the most part this race follows the Iditarod Trail, the same one that dogs will use but these people head out before the dogs start (in some cases the dogs will pass them by). Fully self-supported; these cyclists and walkers can expect to spend up to a month riding or walking in the wilderness. I can’t imagine sleeping outside in the Alaskan wilderness by myself in a bevy sack on the side on a trail at 40 below but that is what these participants will do if they have to. Tough people these racers.
I’m following Jill Homer, a young endurance athlete/writer who is riding a fat bike in the 1000 mile race. She is the only women in the 1000 mile bike race. I’m so excited because she is almost done! She has made it down the Yukon River and across the sea ice, and now is only about 100 miles from Nome!
I’ve followed Jill for a few years in all her exploits ever since I read her first book Be Brave, Be Strong: A Journey Across the Great Divide, an inspiring story of her race in The Tour Divide – 2745 miles from Banff Alberta to Antelope Wells New Mexico (where she broke the women’s time record). I didn’t even know these types of ultra-endurance races existed. It isn’t a bad thing for me to find out about these event now because if I was younger I would probably want to do one dragging Glenis with me – Go Blister Sisters!
I’ve thought of Jill and her stories a few time when I find the going tough in a run. Her strength through adversity reminds me that nothing I do is that hard. I can’t wait for her next book.
Just a quick update. Jill finished 937 miles in just over 17 days, a women’s course record! We are so impressed! Yeah Jill!
Check out Jill Homer’s blog Jill Outside!