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.
On 26 March 2016, the 29th annual Sonot Kkaazoot was successfully completed in spite of the unanticipated break-up of a section of the trail along the Chena River. The organizers thank our title sponsor, Denali State Bank, who has provided continuous support to the Sonot Kkaazoot since 1988. In addition, Doyon, Limited, Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks and Recreation, Fort Wainwright, U.S. Army Alaska, and the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks are critically important collaborators in this unique ski event that begins in downtown Fairbanks, traverses the Chena River to Fort Wainwright, and follows Fort Wainwright trails to Birch Hill Recreational Area before returning to the start downtown. This year, new sponsor, TRaX Outdoor Center, provided ski waxing and music at the Sonot start, and contributed to our trail grooming costs.
Special recognition goes to Tanana Middle School ski coach, David Frey, who with a feed station parent, provided detour guidance around the washed out section of the Sonot Kkaazoot trail until race volunteers could mark the detour and provide additional staffing.
This year’s El Nino brought record warm winter temperatures to Alaska, and contributed to the unprecedented number of skiers from outside the Fairbanks North Star Borough. We hope that these skiers from Anchorage, Galena, Manley Hot Springs, Minto, Nenana, Soldotna, and the lower 48 and Canada will return next year.
Enthusiastic volunteers provided timing and course work; in addition, they staffed feed stations, road crossings, bib pick-up and registration, and the post-race awards ceremony. Volunteers are absolutely essential to the Sonot Kkaazoot, and we could not do this event without you.
We thank all the skiers who participated in the 2016 Sonot Kkaazoot and look forward to seeing you at the 30th annual event.
With sincere thanks,
Sonot Kkaazoot organizers
All photos by Eric Troyer
Sonot Kkaazoot 20 km skiers at turnaround point with Alaska Nanooks, Isaac and Sarissa Lammers shoveling snow onto trail
For non-Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks members, here is the URL to the full-resolution version of all 226 of Eric’s photos.
Feel free to download any that you like. If you do, please consider donating to the Birch Hill Trail Fund. Thank you.
Here’s the URL to Dermot Cole’s column in the Alaska Dispatch News, “In Galena, Alaska, it takes a village (and a mayor) to train a ski team”
The 20 km race wasn’t enough for the Galena ski team, so they went up to Birch Hill in the afternoon.
If you thought trail conditions were a little challenging on Saturday, here’s a finish line photo of Alan Delamere, the oldest finisher of the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot and woodel winner for the men’s M10 age category (80 and over).
Alan edged out Dermot Cole, 18 years younger and not wearing a lycra speed suit. The Delamere family in the 2016 Sonot Kkaazoot included Alan, son Peter (top skier in Men’s M4 category for the 50 km), and granddaughter Hannah (top skier in U12 girls in the 20 km event).
As Sharon Baker (who co-founded and organized the Sonot Kkaazoot for many years with her husband, Bad Bob) said at the Sonot Kkaazoot awards ceremony, Alan is our role model and why we HAVE to keep skiing the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot.
Dermot Cole (left) and Alan Delamere (right) finishing the 50 km Sonot —photo by Susie Frei
About a km into the 20 km Sonot Kkaazoot, skiers were sliding their feet across water as well as snow in these two video clips taken by Chris Broda: