For 31 years, the Sonot Kkaazoot has served as the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks‘ springtime celebration of the return of longer days and faster snow. The race was conceived (and for many years organized) by Bad Bob Baker and his extended family. Don and Tracie Pendergrast and Nick Nugent have also served as past race organizers.The Sonot Kkaazoot has never been canceled although the route has changed over the years.
In 2018, the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot was won by Ti Donaldson, a West Valley High School senior, won in a time of 2:19.15.0; Sarah Freistone from Anchorage won the women’s 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot with a time of 126.96.36.199.
In the 20 km Sonot, Ari Endestad, a West Valley High School junior won with a time of 51:59.4. Kendall Kramer, a West Valley High School sophomore, won in 56:04.7 with a commanding lead of 9:29.5 over her nearest competitor.
Six skiers have won the Sonot Kkaazoot 50 km race more than twice. Melissa (Fink) Lewis has won the race an amazing total of 6 times (1993, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2011). Two men and four women have won the race three times: Audun Endestad (1997, 1998, 1999), Peter Alden (1990, 1993, 1995), Donna Hawkins (1994, 1995, 1996), Sigrid Aas (2001, 2003, 2008), and Rebecca Konieczny (2014, 2015, 2016)
However, the real heroes are the hundreds of volunteers and thousands of skiers of all ages who helped celebrate the return of sunshine to Interior Alaska for 31 years. Please join us in 2019 for our 32nd annual event.
(Banner photograph is courtesy of Daniel Baker Photography)