The race was very exciting. Five of ten racers finished the 135 mile course and all the racers have interesting stories of mechanical glitches and personal adventures. A few of them learned the hard way what happens when you touch metal with your bare hands in sub-zero temps.
The temperature dipped to -17F degrees at night, resulting in frostbite for one of the racers. Despite the tough, and at times, extremely steep course, all entrants agree the trail was an awesome, gorgeous venue and most say they will return again next year.
Matt Evingson- The first ever biker to conquer the Arrowhead Trail despite knee problems. Matt said he was ready to quit about 20 miles before the finish, but we are glad he persevered.
Pierre- After completing the Susitna 100 mile on foot the week before, Pierre managed to come in second overall on a single-speed bike in the Arrowhead. Pierre, you are an animal! Even so, Pierre spent 5 hours at Myrtle Lake, not normal for him. He said his "butt was like a hamburger" because he had not done many long bike rides this year, more running.
Bill Shand- Bill is such an awesome rider, even with narrow tires. Everyone said his tracks were smooth and consistent, and he rode the hills until, of course, his rear wheel broke and he had to push. He thinks he lost at least 12 to 15 hours. Once his wheel was fixed, he made up so much time on Pierre and Matt that had it not been for his wheel, he could have won it. Watch out for Bill next year!
Ron Kadera- First skier. This is Ron's first race of this sort and he did it like a pro! He had his moments when he wanted to quit, but he made it look easy.
Major Mike Foster- Fifth overall. Just back on leave from duty in Iraq, this is Mike's first attempt at an extreme cold weather event. The weekend before he biked the 12 hours of Razorback. Next week, he is kayaking from Miami to Key West and then back to duty in Afghanistan. Mike entertained us with his hilarious stories, such as his unique use of Gatorade on the trail.
Josh Peterson- Great effort by Josh who made it to the 83 mile mark at Myrtle Lake after spending the "coldest night of his life" bivying on the trail. He had signed up at the last minute, not knowing what to expect...very brave. He said he learned a lot and is excited to try it again next year.
Brian Robinson- Brian, the Myrtle Turtle award winner, is the last person to successfully make it to the Myrtle Lake checkpoint. This is the first time he tried using a sled which affected his knees and he suffered frostbite blisters on all his fingers. Brian said he never experienced this sort of cold in his many wilderness hikes, so maybe he underestimated the gear and effort required. Great effort, Brian, we hope to see you again.
Brian Block- Unfortunately, Brian was a victim of mechanical problems with his bike derailler early on in the race. Despite "MacGyvering" a partial fix, he was forced to scratch and hitch hike back to his car. He had forgotten his keys were in his drop bag! Even so, Brian said he had lots of fun and is raring to get new equipment to attack the Arrowhead trail again next year.
Dick & Laurie Woodbury- A very tough pair of self-described "old farts", they had a flat tire within the first hour of the race. I'll let Laurie tell you about their experience. Great effort, guys!
John Evingson- Despite back pain for over a month, John attempted to bike the race.
He made it 25 miles out and back to Intl Falls. After scratching, John helped out by monitoring the lead racers by driving to cross roads and reporting on the progress of the lead racers. Click on his name for a slideshow of photos John took on the trail.
There is an article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Sunday (see
Pioneer Press Article--Sunday, March 6, 2005).
There are about 5 or 6 photos in the printed version. Sorry, they don’t include photos on the web.
Also see the Results Link for a more detailed results spreadsheet.
Note: We were lax at enforcing race rules since this is the first year, but next year we will be tougher on gear checks, and allow absolutely no help from outsiders, no crews, no pacers and pre-race meetings will be mandatory. Also, we will make improvements to the rescue and communication plans.
WebMaster & Race Official