For 29 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 2016, the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot was won by Seiji Takagi, a current UAF skier from Anchorage, AK; Rebecca Konieczny, a former UAF Nanook and FXC assistant coach won for the third consecutive year with a time of 2.42.00.
In the 20 km Sonot, Mike Kramer won with a time of 50:50. Kaya Ratzlaff (a U14) won with a time of 55:02.
Rebecca became the sixth skier to 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 29 years. Please join us in 2017 for our 30th annual event.
(Banner photograph is courtesy of Daniel Baker Photography)