Thank you to all the volunteers at the Sonot Kkaazoot race. I have never enjoyed pain as much as enduring the Black Hole. The teenagers at the stadium had zest and encouraged me to turn right at the 40k-50k intersection. I feared the reality of the BLACKHOLE, already spent on my 190 cm skis with scales. Repeating over and over on the climbs, the letters: sonot,kk,aa, zoot. More loops with climbs between 30k -35K. Thankfully I did not know my first 50K was the hardest in our country.The volunteers and Bob Baker all standing alone at their stations with beautiful energy as I came slugging by. I promise to buy faster skis for my caboose role next year. Hooray! Thank, Thank You, Thank you for an inspiring event to celebrate another Alaskan winter. Thank you girls by the stadium, and mom with cookies.
Article by Danny Martin, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner w/ photos including female and male winners of 50 km and 20 km freestyle events
Present or former Nanooks swept the Men’s 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot podium:
2. Alex Morris 2:22.42.9
Women’s 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot leaders were:
1. Rebecca Konieczny 2:33.38.7
2. Shalane Frost 2:37.47.6
3. Melissa Lewis 2:48.46.2
Men’s 50 km CL winners
1. Pete Leonard 3:00.58.4
2. Scott Jerome 3:19.42.0
(See: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=651789528222342 for photo)
3. David Apperson 3:29.4.4
Women’s 50 km CL
2. Jessie Turner 5:44.01.0
3. Liz Pawelko 5:47.07.2
Men’s 20 km event winners
1. Ti Donaldson 50:21.6
2. Kevin Brune 50:37.6
3. Benjamin Koenig 50:37.8
Women’s 20 km event winners
1. Jenna DiFolco 56:46.0
2. Kriya Dunlap 1:05.01.2
3. Christine Broda 1:08.21.2
Men’s 40 km winners
1. Mark Ross 2:31.08.8
2. Patrick Druckenmiller 2:35.11.9
3. Patrik Sartz 2;37.18.3
Women’s 40 km winners
1. Kristan Kelly 2:38.11.1
2. Robbin Garber-Slaght 3:10.09.2
3. Maria Berger 3:37.35.0
Photos by Sam Lamont, lead road crossing volunteer
From Bill Husby, NSCF deputy groomer:
“Spent the morning grooming the river and it continues to look great. Only a few very short sections that will require double poling in the tracks. Encourage folks to wear sunscreen.”
Six hardy volunteers (aged 56 to 71) moved large quantities of snow last night to prevent Sonot Kkaazoot skiers from damaging their ski bottoms on highway gravel embedded into the icy surface of the Chena River underneath highway bridges. Huge thanks go out to Bill Husby, Chris Puchner, Donovan Granger, Mike Schmoker, Owen Hanley, and Carol Kleckner, who worked for three hours to make the river even better skiing.
As of 6 p.m. on 3/27/14, Bad Bob (chief of course) is now 99% sure the race will be on the river!
Snow haulers and shovelers needed tonight to move snow onto icy sections of the Sonot Kkaazoot trail on the Chena River under the Wendell Street and Steese Hwy Bridges. There is highway gravel embedded in the ice that needs to be well-covered with snow. Park at Graehl Park (#26 on the map below) and bring snow shovels starting at 5:30 p.m. tonight. Groomers will have large sleds for moving snow to where it is needed.
From Bad Bob Baker:
I just skied the entire 20 km, and the river is in great shape. Even with these warm afternoons, the condition is pretty much the same at it was last Friday. I’m guessing a 95-100% chance of the Sonot starting and finishing on the River this year. But, we’ll know for sure on Saturday Morning!