SCUM mom completes her virtual 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot

This morning, SCUMs Dan Johnson and Robert Hannon paced their mom (and coach) as she completed her 50 km virtual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot on classical skis in two installments. In doing so, Susan Sugai keeps her streak of completing all “50 km” Sonot Kkaazoot intact.

On Saturday, she skied the 30 km course, where Joanna Fox kept her company for the first 11 km as they chatted and noticed that the black loops were enjoyable at their leisurely pace. After the blue loop, Joanna called it a day and took the requisite selfie of us at that point.

Then SCUM mom had to get to work and push through on the remaining trails of the 30 km course. Thanks to the beautiful tracks on the White Bear and Moilanen Meadows (yes, she made an additional donation to the trails fund, NSCF trails fund), her kickwax held up even though the temperature increased from 1 at the start to 15 deg F at the finish. Temperatures in the black loops were well below zero.

Here is the documentation for the 30 km course (click on figure to enlarge map):

On Sunday, Dan Johnson and Robert Hannon skied the 20 km loop with Joanna and Susan. Susan wrote: “After we got onto the White Bear, the guys started chasing Joanna who had left us after the Outhouse and Relay loops. However, catching a glimpse of Dan or Robert at times motivated me to keep moving faster than I would on my own. My pace for the 20 km was much faster than for the 30 km and at a lower heart rate. Tracks were much faster so I doublepoled or tucked a lot more than Saturday.”

While skiing up the penultimate major climb in Moilanen Meadows, a gray and white bird larger than a kestral dove right over my head. I’ve since learned from Mark Ross, ADF&G bird biologist, that it was likely a goshawk. I viewed the sighting as a good omen.

Illustration by Mark Ross, who notes that an adult goshawk has red-orange eyes–very appropriate for the Sonot Kkaazoot

Here’s the data for the second installment:

Thus, 71 year old Susan Sugai skied her classical 50 km virtual Sonot Kkaazoot in an official time of 5:57:41. This leaves only the 30 km Sonot to do over Sonot weekend when she hopes snow temperatures will increase enough to make skate skiing (her preferred technique) feasible for her aging carcass and bionic knees.

The SCUM mother and Sonot blogger is looking forward to the 35th annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot in 2022, when she hopes there will be timers, 50 km of perfectly groomed trails, feed stations with music and enthusiastic supporters of springtime skiing, and handmade woodels for age class winners.

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