30 km test this Sunday

With the 32nd annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot less than 5 weeks away, the Buetow Dental-Pangaea Health Distance Race #3 will be great test of your preparation. The freestyle race is a three lap course so you have 10 or 30 km options. The race starts at 11 a.m. and finishes in the Birch Hill Recreation Area stadium this Sunday.

Register online here:


With the recent snows and winds, this will be a great opportunity to get a long workout in on spectacularly groomed trails.

Here’s the course as described by NSCF race director, John Estle:

Start goes up the Ramp, out Relay Alley, descend Outhouse, then turn left on
Upper House cutoff.

Turn onto Sunnyside, then turn back at Section Line cutoff and return to
Outhouse on Sunnyside

Back on Outhouse, finish the loop, then turn right and finish Relay Loop.

Returning to stadium, go down Roller Coaster Bypass, then White Cub, through Biathlon Range. Take White Bear to Hilltop cutoff.

Turn left and return to the stadium, then take a LEFT and proceed up East Ramp.

Finish:  On the last lap, skiers will go up the E Ramp and down the W Ramp, then into the finish from the South.

Proceeds from the race support the Lathrop XC ski team.



The making of Sonot Kkaazoot #27 by volunteers!

Photos by Sam Lamont & Eli Lyke


Sonot Kkaazoot lost and found

Bags of clothes and ski items found at the start/finish line of the Sonot Kkazoot on Saturday plus items left in the Doyon Ltd building at 4 p.m. Saturday were left at the “lost and found” area upstairs in the Birch Hill Recreation Bldg

Lost neck gaiter: Kristen Rozell lost a red-striped neck gaiter on the white bear during the Sonot. If found, please contact her at: kbrozell@gmail.com

Thanks to volunteers from 2014 Sonot Kkazoot red lantern

2014 Sonot Kkaazoot 50 km CL finisher

2014 Sonot Kkaazoot 50 km CL finisher--photo by Bad Bob Baker

Thank you to all the volunteers at the Sonot Kkaazoot race. I have never enjoyed pain as much as enduring the Black Hole. The teenagers at the stadium had zest and encouraged me to turn right at the 40k-50k intersection. I feared the reality of the BLACKHOLE, already spent on my 190 cm skis with scales. Repeating over and over on the climbs, the letters: sonot,kk,aa, zoot. More loops with climbs between 30k -35K. Thankfully I did not know my first 50K was the hardest in our country.The volunteers and Bob Baker all standing alone at their stations with beautiful energy as I came slugging by. I promise to buy faster skis for my caboose role next year. Hooray! Thank, Thank You, Thank you for an inspiring event to celebrate another Alaskan winter. Thank you girls by the stadium, and mom with cookies.
Barb Baysinger

2014 Sonot Kkaazoot Event Podiums

Article by Danny Martin, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner w/ photos including female and male winners of 50 km and 20 km freestyle events


Present or former Nanooks swept the Men’s 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot podium:

1. Cody Priest in 2:21.55.2Cody Priest_sm

2. Alex Morris 2:22.42.9

3. Isaac Lammers 2:23.11.4Issac Lammers_sm

Women’s 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot leaders were:

1. Rebecca Konieczny 2:33.38.7

2. Shalane Frost 2:37.47.6

3. Melissa Lewis 2:48.46.2

Men’s 50 km CL winners

1. Pete Leonard 3:00.58.4

2. Scott Jerome 3:19.42.0

(See: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=651789528222342 for photo)

3. David Apperson 3:29.4.4

Women’s 50 km CL

1. Lynne Petersen 4:45.11.4Lynne_Petersen

2. Jessie Turner 5:44.01.0

3. Liz Pawelko 5:47.07.2

Men’s 20 km event winners

1. Ti Donaldson 50:21.6

2. Kevin Brune 50:37.6

3. Benjamin Koenig 50:37.8

Women’s 20 km event winners

1. Jenna DiFolco 56:46.0

2. Kriya Dunlap 1:05.01.2

3. Christine Broda 1:08.21.2

Men’s 40 km winners

1. Mark Ross 2:31.08.8

2. Patrick Druckenmiller 2:35.11.9

3. Patrik Sartz 2;37.18.3

Women’s 40 km winners

1. Kristan Kelly 2:38.11.1

2. Robbin Garber-Slaght 3:10.09.2

3. Maria Berger 3:37.35.0

 Photos by Sam Lamont, lead road crossing volunteer 



Eighteen person-hours of work last night (3/26/14)

Six hardy volunteers (aged 56 to 71) moved large quantities of snow last night to prevent Sonot Kkaazoot skiers from damaging their ski bottoms on highway gravel embedded into the icy surface of the Chena River underneath highway bridges. Huge thanks go out to Bill Husby, Chris Puchner, Donovan Granger, Mike Schmoker, Owen Hanley, and Carol Kleckner, who worked for three hours to make the river even better skiing.

As of 6 p.m. on 3/27/14, Bad Bob (chief of course) is now 99% sure the race will be on the river!

Snow haulers and shovelers needed tonight!

Snow haulers and shovelers needed tonight to move snow onto icy sections of the Sonot Kkaazoot trail on the Chena River under the Wendell Street and Steese Hwy Bridges. There is highway gravel embedded in the ice that needs to be well-covered with snow. Park at Graehl Park (#26 on the map below) and bring snow shovels starting at 5:30 p.m. tonight. Groomers will have large sleds for moving snow to where it is needed.

Graehl Park

Sonot River Conditions as of 3 p.m. Tuesday

From Bad Bob Baker:

I just skied the entire 20 km, and the river is in great shape.  Even with these warm afternoons, the condition is pretty much the same at it was last Friday.  I’m guessing a 95-100% chance of the Sonot starting and finishing on the River this year.  But, we’ll know for sure on Saturday Morning!

Bad Bob

2014 Sonot Kaazoot (Tuesday morning update)

If the Sonot Kkaazoot were to be held today, river ski conditions would be awesome. The Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks groomers were out today with drags and Ginzu. After their work, skiing on the river is fantastic:

2014_Sonot_Chena River_T-4

Unfortunately, there is a narrow spot on the river near Fort Wainwright in the center of the river channel, which the groomers will monitor on a day-to-day basis. Thus, the Sonot Kkaazoot organizers still hope to safely conduct the race on Saturday using the Chena River. However, we cannot control the weather. So, as indicated on the entry form, if the race is unsafe on Saturday morning, we will move to Birch Hill and delay the start until 10:30 a.m.

Groomers will go out again Wednesday morning and if the river still appears solid, we will have a snow shoveling work party Wednesday evening to put snow under the highway bridges where there is currently ice and gravel.

The groomers have dragged the ditch on Fort Wainwright, and it’s ready if the river is:

Sonot 2014_FWW ditch_sm


Sorry that we can’t control the weather and river break-up. However, skiers are a resilient bunch. The 2014 Sonot Kkaazoot will take place this Saturday, however, the course will need to remain in the “to be determined” status until Saturday morning around 6:30 a.m. when groomers set the classical tracks on the river.