One of North America’s biggest, and Alaska’s favorite, races celebrates 30 years
More than 700, including Olympians, expected to compete; registration still open
WHAT: 2018 Tour of Anchorage
WHEN/WHERE: Sunday, March 4. Starts: 50K at 9:30 a.m., 40K at 10:30 a.m., Service High School; 25K classic at 11 a.m., 25K freestyle at noon, APU University Lake. All races end at Kincaid Park stadium.
ANCHORAGE – Alaska’s Nordic ski community celebrates ski racing and generations of standout Alaska athletes at the 30th annual Tour of Anchorage, the spring skiing festival and one of North America’s most popular ski races, which takes place Sunday, March 4.
Hosted by the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage and supported by this year’s signature sponsor ConocoPhillips, the Tour features three distances – 25-, 40- and 50-kilometers – for hundreds of skiers of all skill levels. Courses span Anchorage’s world-class trail system, crossing urban and natural segments, and passing festive aid stations that create a celebratory community vibe. The party continues at the Kincaid Park finish area with music, entertainment, food and drink from 49th State Brewing Company, Great Harvest Bread Company and Kaladi Brothers Coffee.
Recent seasons of low snow in Southcentral threatened the Tour’s 30-year run, but the event carried on. This season’s event promises plenty of snow, inspiration and enthusiasm following fresh snow and the success of Alaska skiers at the Winter Olympic Games.
“We are thrilled that abundant recent snowfall has created such great course conditions,” said Matias Saari, race director. “The Tour allows all types of skiers to traverse an urban environment by way of tunnels, bridges and greenbelts.”
At least one 2018 Olympian, Jessica Yeaton, will compete in this year’s Tour while other Alaskans who competed in high-profile 2018 national and world events are expected to race. Half of 2017’s top 50K Tour finishers represented the U.S. at the Olympics – Rosie Frankowski won the women’s race; Reese Hanneman and Tyler Kornfield placed second and third, respectively, in the men’s 50K.
But one of the Tour’s most distinctive features is that it attracts all types of skiers: octogenarians to elementary school kids, elites to weekend warriors. More than 100 current entrants are 18 or younger, while nearly as many are 59 or older. At 87 years old, Reno Deprey is back to ski the 25K classic while Bruce Talbot, the only person to have skied all 29 Tours, returns for the 40K freestyle.
More than 700 skiers are expected to participate, including over 100 from outside Anchorage. Registration opportunities are still available. Register and learn more about the race at www.anchoragenordicski.com/races/tour-of-anchorage/.
Bib pickup is noon-7p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-noon Saturday at the APU Moseley Center.