Thank you to all the volunteers, sponsors and especially Spenard Builders Supply for hosting the event. We appreciate the lunch and access to the warehouse!
Each year new riders and racers sign up for the Iron Dog who aren’t 100% up to speed on what to expect when riding to Nome or on to Fairbanks. Thanks to Woody’s and many other sponsors, we conduct a rookie workshop to give new participants some much needed safety and riding tips to help them on their first Iron Dog journey.
Our staff of Laurel, Christina and Kevin along with many volunteers like Lee Davis, Craig Clayton, Jim Wilke and many others kicked off the morning off by preparing the SBS warehouse with banners, tables, chairs and breakfast snacks for the racers. New for this year (and our first time ever), thanks to Ravn Alaska, SBS and other sponsors we had our first live streaming event. With the amazing talent from the South Anchorage High School media team you could have watched the Rookie Workshop LIVE on YouTube. We look forward to even better productions this year!
After our Executive Director (Kevin Kastner) made some introductions and announcements, two of our Board members gave some history and advice about riding in the Iron Dog race. Race Marshals Lee Davis and Craig Clayton reviewed the 2015 rules and reviewed the expectations from all participants.
Here’s the morning session:
Just before the lunch break, we had a brief Q&A session then gave away door prizes from Woody’s, Iron Dog and XPS. Spenard Builders Supply fed everyone some great hamburgers and hotdogs while rookies talked with the Race Marshals, Iron Dog Board Members and watched a slideshow of the 2014 photography. KTUU (NBC) was on hand to conduct a few interviews as well.
Following the lunch break in the afternoon session, Chris Olds and Matt Spernak covered the long list of information ranging from safety and fitness to race preparing your snowmobile and trail conditions. Giving additional perspective, Team 9, Jordan Starr and Josh Plumb gave their perspective as first time finishers in 2014. They were rookies last year and provided an interesting view of what it’s like to run the Iron Dog for the first time. Watch the video below.
- Navigation. Sometimes you can’t see where you are going.
- Equipment. Stock snowmachines can survive, but there are tricks to keeping it going for 2,000 miles.
- Gear. Avoiding frostbite is a good idea.
- Fitness. This is an athletic feat and endurance is required.
- Media awareness. The camera is always on you…
- Rural Alaska. Know how to be nice to our volunteers, take plenty of cash and always say “Thank you!”
All said, it was a great day and we covered MANY topics that should give our rookies a fighting chance to survive this great race!
Door Prizes: Special thanks to our presenting sponsor Alaska National Guard, XPS Oil and Woody’s Traction for the great prizes.
Thanks again to: Chris Olds, Matt Spernak, Lee Davis, Craig Clayton, Laurel Hickel, Christina Wichman, Skip Boomershine, Jim Wilke, the SBS Team, Team #9 Josh Plumb & Jordan Starr, Ravn Alaska, Lake Otis Medical Supply – Joe Vergnetti, LeadDog Helmet Lights, Dale Bart and the Alaska National Guard, Coca-cola of Alaska, Rockstar Energy Drink, HPAK, Kevin Kastner, Marianne Beckham, Jeff Johnson, Woody’s, XPS, Spenard Builders Supply, Robert Eachus, Lee Butterfield & the South Anchorage HS students and everyone else who helped out!