The winter of 2015-2016 is a huge El Nino one, so the mild weather in Interior Alaska makes is much easier to train for the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot. Unlike many ski marathons, the 50 km field in the Sonot tends to be dominated by the 50 and older crowd. In fact, this year, the Sonot Kkaazoot may have our first finisher in the 80 and over category. Can you pick him out of this photo from our first SCUM workout of 2016?
Everyone in this photo has done the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot multiple times. Everyone is older than 56; two have totally bionic knees, one has had multiple heart valves replaced, one has had 8 concussions. If we can train for and complete the Sonot Kkaazoot, why not you?
Here are some suggestions for finishing your first 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot with a smile from a 66-year old skier who has done 28 of them while working 50 to 60 hours a week at a desk job.
- Make a generous donation to the Birch Hill trails fund. The groomers make it possible for you to train after snowstorms, windstorms, and huge swings in temperature. The groomers also serve as trail sweeps during races, including the Sonot Kkaazoot, so thank them for their efforts by contributing as much as you can to the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks trail fund: https://nordicskicluboffairbanks.wildapricot.org/Donate/
- Register for the Sonot Kkaazoot 50 km event. Skiing 50 km is at least 50% mental. Make a public commitment to do the event. https://sonotkkaazoot.org/register/
- Ski the black loops before the Sonot Kkaazoot. These loops are much less intimidating once you know where to expect the corners.
- Ski the Sonot Connector (both directions) going down as far at the Fort Wainwright alpine hut.
- Ski the “Grand Tour” (all 26 km of the Birch Hill trails) or the 30 km Distance Race #3. Test out your hydration and feed strategy for a long distance effort.