The Susitna 100 is a 100 mile race through the frozen Alaskan wilderness. Competitors can choose their own mode of travel: ski, bike, or run/snowshoe. When I first heard about this race, shortly after moving to Alaska, I knew that I had to do it. I just love crazy adventures like this.
Last year, I did the shorter version of the Su 100, called the Little Su 50K. I treated that race as a test to see if I could handle the kind of conditions I would encounter if I did the 100 miler. The race course is on remote snowmobile trails, which can be very narrow and bumpy. What I discovered last year was that, yes the course was narrow, bumpy, and challenging, but it also was not any worse than the snowmobile trails I used to train on when I was in high school back in New Hampshire.
After his commanding win in last year’s Su 100, Tim Kelley said to me that he could have gone a lot faster with someone there to push him (hint, hint).
I took the challenge and decided that I was ready to give the Su 100 a try in 2005.
I did my normal ski training plan until about Christmas time. Then I planned to supplement my usual training with 40-60 mile skis on the weekends. But because of sickness and work, I only ended up doing four extra-long ski workouts, with the longest being 5 hours and 45 miles. I was a bit worried about my lack of preparation, but as one friend who is a Su 100 veteran told me, â€œIts not the last month of training that is going to get you through this race, it’s the years of building a massive endurance base.â€
I sure hoped so.
Also very important in this race is the gear that you take. The list of required gear is: a Minus-20 sleeping bag; Insulated sleeping pad; Bivy sack or tent; matches or lighter; Stove; 8 oz. fuel, cooking Pot; 2-qt insulated water container; Headlamp or flashlight; 1-day of food at ALL times (3000 calories); 15 lbs of gear (not including food and water) at ALL times.
ADN article on the Su 100: http://adn.com/sports/story/6203255p-6077553c.html
ADN Interview With Tim Kelley (not about the race): http://www.adn.com/outdoors/story/6193505p-6067600c.html
My photo gallery pf the race: http://www.xcskiracer.com/gallery/Su100
More photos from the race: