Athabaskan: Sonot (pronounced “SAW NOT”, “springtime”) Kkaazoot (“to slide your feet across the snow”)
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Mark your calendars, it will be a special year!
Details will follow this fall
285 skiers successfully raced against Chena River break-up to finish the 29th annual Sonot Kkaazoot
Photos and stories below.
Please return on March 25, 2017 for our 30th annual Sonot Kkaazoot
Photo of the 2015 start by Chris Hemming
Banner photo courtesy of Retrospection Image.
Tomorrow’s 54th annual Equinox Marathon will feature a little additional climb thanks to the last-minute addition of the “zipper” and “tunnel” sections of trail on Ester Dome. However, Bad Bob Baker, the founder and longtime organizer of the Sonot Kkaazoot will be unfazed by this minor diversion. Baker will be continuing his personal Equinox glory in spite of a brush with death in late June when he collapsed at the Loftus Mile after winning his age category by 1:30! Cleared by his doctors to do the Equinox Marathon if he keeps his heart rate under 135, I hope that I get to see him on the course out-and-back. However, with his 75% coronary blockage removed, Bad Bob will likely snooze his way around the course, leaving mere mortals behind him.
photo by Ned Rozell
Good news for Interior Alaska skiers.
In 2017, the American Birkebeiner will allow skiers to use finish times from the 2016 Sonot Kkaazoot 50 km race for wave placement in the 50 km FS Birkie.
The several inches of fresh snow that fell this morning gave us a short reprieve from break-up. Tom, the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks head groomer, made a single pass of the White Bear and Moilanen Meadows today so we enjoyed the warm, sunny April Sunday. The barely hidden water hazards let us know that our skiing days are numbered for this season.
Max Kaufman, photographer and skier, took all the above photos of the 20 km skiers on the Chena River from under the Old Steese Bridge, of 40 and 50 km skiers in the Birch Hill stadium, and a few skiers at the finish.
You can view and download full resolution digital images of 229 photos from the slideshow at the Awards Ceremony on Max’s Picaso album:
In exchange, please make a donation on Max’s behalf to either the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks trail fund:
or to FXC, the NSCF youth training program, at the upcoming Spring Gala on April 16, 2016.
Thank you, Max! Your generosity will help appease the out-of-town skiers who were disappointed that we didn’t have swag to sell this year.
Gavin Kentch, who won the first place woodel in the M1 male category for the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot, has a detailed article in FasterSkier.com, illustrated with Max Kaufman’s excellent photographs of the leading skiers.