For 35 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.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sonot Kkaazoot was virtual in 2020 and 2021. However, we’re back to an in-person event in 2022. The courses will begin and end at the Birch Hill Recreation Area.
In 2019, the 30 km Sonot Kkaazoot was won by Eric Packer, an APU skier, won in a time of 1:12.12.9; Marine Dusser from Anchorage won the women’s 30 km Sonot Kkaazoot with a time of 126.96.36.199.
In the 10 km Sonot, Andrew Stringfellow, won with a time of 24:36.5. Georgianna Fischer won in 28:27.8.
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).
As always, 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 32 years. Please join us in 2022 for our 35th annual event.
(Banner photograph is courtesy of Daniel Baker Photography)