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The Other Iditarod Trail Race

While the world’s attention is focused on mushers and their dog teams blazing down the Iditarod Trail, another crop of athletes races from Anchorage to Nome to much less fanfare.

Since its inauguration in 2000, the Iditarod Trail Invitational has gathered competitors from around the world to race across the Alaskan wilderness on skis, on bicycles, or on their own two feet. Racers can choose either the shorter 350-mile course or the full 1000-mile Iditarod Trail. From the starting line on Knik Lake, just north of Anchorage, racers have 30 days to reach the burled arch in Nome. For their whole time on the trail, they must face the harsh Alaskan winter solo, with only the survival gear they can pull in a sled.

This year’s race gathered competitors from 11 different countries: USA, Canada, Australia, all across Europe, and even Indonesia. 103 athletes started the race, with 61 finishing. The first bikers crossed under Nome’s burled arch after just 16 days, while the running and skiing champions reached Nome after 24 days on the trail.

The final racers crossed the finish line on day 29 of the race.

Image at top: Scotland’s Mark Hines finished in 29 days, 7 hours and 39 minutes for his first successful ITI 1000. Photo courtesy of Iditarod Trail Invitational, used with permission.

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