FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 15, 2019
Iron Dog moves 2019 race start to Deshka Landing
ANCHORAGE – Deshka Landing Outdoor Association, LLC and Iron Dog Inc. have partnered to stage the 2019 Pro Class race start at the Susitna River launch just west of Willow, Alaska.
The pros leave the starting chute at 11 a.m. sharp, and fans are encouraged to show up early to visit sponsor and vendor booths, listen to the emcees and DJ and to mingle with the racers and their crews.
Citing potential ice instability on Big Lake, Iron Dog officials announced today they will move the start of the 2,000-mile cross-country snowmachine race to Deshka Landing.
“We’ve held off as long as we could on making the decision to move the start from its traditional home on Big Lake to Deshka Landing,” said John Woodbury, Iron Dog executive director. “The Nov. 30 earthquake, combined with a slothy freeze-up and deep snow with overflow this year caused concern among our board of directors. We discussed our options with Big Lake residents, Mat-Su Borough officials and veteran Iron Dog racers, and we all agreed to opt for the decision that kept our riders, supporters, sponsors and volunteers safe. It was a painful but measured decision, but the folks at Deshka Landing have really stepped up and have agreed to host the race start this year.
“I’m excited for the change of venue,” he said. “There’s ample parking, and we’ll have our usual fun vendors and sponsors out at the start, and the racers dump right onto the river system, so expect some swift racing right out of the chute.”
Deshka landing is located at Milepost 70.5 on the Parks Highway. Turn on Willow Creek Parkway and follow the signs to Deshka Landing.
“For over thirty years Deshka Landing has provided year-round access to the Susitna River drainage for Alaskans. Partnering with Iron Dog is just another way we can support the community and we have the facilities to do just that,” said Joe Wright, Deshka Landing president. “Former Iron Dog champion Ken Lee is a member of our Board and he will bring his years of experience to ensure a great experience not only for the racers but also the fans.”
Iron Dog weekend kicks off Feb. 15 with the Trail Class start, which will still be held near Southport Marina and Big Lake Power Sports on Big Lake.
The Donlin Gold Safety Expo also takes place Feb. 15 at the Menard Center. Following the Pro Class tech inspection, the Menard Center is open and free to the public at 1-8 p.m. Fans can meet and greet the pro riders, win door prizes, learn about becoming a safer outdoorsperson thanks to Donlin Gold’s sponsorship of educational seminars focusing on winter travel in Alaska.
Racers will also draw for their start positions beginning at 5-8 p.m. on Feb. 15 at the Menard. Grab a snack from the food trucks in the parking lot and come wish luck to your favorite teams as they pluck their start number from the hat.
Also ongoing is the Iron Dog raffle, which this year features the chance to win a half-acre of land and a tiny house, courtesy Johnson Investments and Spenard Builders Supply.
Hatcher Pass Polaris put some added fun into the raffle by donating a 2017 Polaris 600 Switchback Pro S snowmachine. White spruce stepped up with a 10-foot Aluma tilt trailer package, while Alaska Specialty Equipment/Bailey’s is offering up a $2,500 gift card. Team CC donated a $1,000 shopping spree to either of their locations, and Chevrolet Buick GMC of Fairbanks rolled in with a set of Blizzak tires. Rounding out the prizes, AMSOIL and Klim teamed up to offer gift cards and gear to the top three prize winners.
Earning a chance at your own homestead, or to win any of the raffle prizes, costs only $60. Iron Dog, operating under Alaska gaming permit # 79, will hold their drawing on April 2, 2019 in Anchorage and you need not be present to win. Want to ensure you have the best chance to win? Buy a ticket by calling (907) 563-4414.