Qaniq Challenge 2017 by the numbers: Two days, 35 kilometers, three feet of fresh snow. 33 racers. $10,000 purse. Why the country's second-richest cross-country ski race is in Valdez, Alaska, in mid-January.
The story of why one citizens skier trekked six hours (each way) for a race in a southern port city of Alaska. "Sometimes it’s important to travel for five days so that you can spend less than two hours racing, but do so on a course that goes from a mountain overlook to the shores of the Pacific Ocean," the author explains.
For the second-straight year, the city of Valdez, Alaska, is hosting back-to-back races (17.5 k classic on Saturday and 17.5 k skate on Sunday) with a combined payout of $10,000 dollars. As of Thursday, 29 skiers were registered. “We are guaranteed to run the race,” the race director explains. “The odds couldn’t be any better for those folks.”