As you approach the start line on the Chena River for the start of the 26th Annual Sonot Kkaazoot, you may wonder where you entry fee goes. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Denali State Bank, Doyon Limited, Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks and Recreation, Fort Wainwright, and the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks, we have race bibs, a fantastic location for early bib pick-up and race day start and finish support, a location for Birch Hill support and our awards ceremony, and fantastic ski trail grooming at Birch Hill, on the Chena River, and on along the ditch between the Chena River and the Fort Wainwright ski area and the Sonot Connector.
Although most of the race organizers are volunteers from the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks, the head timer is reimbursed for her efforts and each of the main aid stations are staffed by middle and high school Cross Country Ski Team Booster Clubs who receive financial support from the Sonot Kkaazoot for their fruit and baked goodies and long day outside keeping skiers fueled and encouraged. Entry fees also cover the costs of aid station cups and sports drinks, award ceremony supplies, soups, and breads, costs associated with fabricating awards, trail signage, and fuel for grooming equipment. Like in our personal lives, energy costs (in the case of the Sonot Kkaazoot, diesel for the Piston Bully and gasoline for the snowmachines) have increased substantially this year. The Sonot Kkaazoot race course involves a minimum of three passes along approximately 38 km of trail as only the Chena River and the Fort Wainwright trails between the River and the top of the Sonot Connector are skied in both directions by 40 and 50 km Sonot participants.
Event swag (this year both technical fabric long-sleeved t-shirts and headbands with Sonot design by Fairbanks artist Dee Dee Hammond) will be sold to race participants at cost at the bib pick-up and awards ceremony.