I got into the WM100 race this year. It is open to about 65 bikers, 10 skiers and 10 runners due to capacity restriction of the checkpoints. So there is a lottery for all the interested racers every year and if you lucky enough you will get in. I was couple places under the cut off, but i got in because some people canceled.
The race is held about 35 miles north of Fairbanks in White Mountains. It is definitely colder up there than here in Anchorage so i was pretty worried what the temperature is going to be like. I mean how cold it is going to get. On the way up to Fairbanks i stop at the Denali viewpoints and snap couple pics.
Denali South Viewpoint
Preparation for the race
The Race itself is held on the snow machine trails and there are about 5 checkpoints evenly spread out over the course. You have to climb over the Cache Mountain Pass which everyone call The Divide. The Divide is half point of the way and it is the highest elevation on the course. The first half of the race is all up and down and along with the above mentioned climb to conquer the Divide make up the most of the about 8000 feet of descent of the race. Once you get over the divide you will be flying down until about mile 90 where you hit so called The Wall! The Wall is a very steep climb which I believe gain about 800 feet over 1 mile. You just want to shoot yourself by that time and not to be climbing the Wall!
Start of the Race
Anyhow, I really enjoy the bike ride. I mean it was not without the pain, but man it is beautiful up there! The temperature at the start was about 0 Fahrenheit, but it went down to -15 on the first part of the course and that is when i made a fatal mistake and unzipped my jacket! Part of my camel-back tube got exposed and froze. Well,I did not drink a drop of water for the first 39miles (4 hours). So here I'm at mile 30 and cramps are starting taking the fun out of the race. I made it to the second checkpoint and chug a liter of coke and water, recoup and went to conquer the divide. I did not get rid of the cramps for the rest of the race, but it was manageable.
The Wall was a treat, as i mentioned previously, but other than that the rest of the ride was pretty mellow. I crossed the finish line somewhere under 11h, which i was happy with as my plan was either under the 12 hours or finish before dark. Every finisher got the buckle, which i think is really cool prize. I love my Buckle!!
However, my adventure was not over yet. I crossed the finish line, but i still had a 7hours drive to Anchorage. So I chow down a hotdog chug 3 beers, just kidding i actually chug 3 sparkling waters or whatever that was, and went on my merry way. I was lucky enough that almost entire way home there were norther lights out! Pretty awesome views.
Northern Lights-It is hard to get good pic