Despite my best effort to approach the report as "just highlights (and lowlights)", once I started the writing, it inevitably slipped into the standard race report format. Instead of diving into the interesting bits, I was mired in a linear telling of many mundane details guided by what photos I'd taken along the way. I find the standard race report format to be rather uninspiring and a completely inadequate structure to describe the most inspiring event I've yet to undertake. Of course, one could easily argue that attempting to provide any sense of what the ITI in writing is likely a doomed attempt from the start. Also, given my history with overly verbose race reports, it would likely take well beyond next year's event for me to complete.
This was precisely the situation I had hoped to avoid. All I want is to share some "tales from the trail," to give at least some hints of what I went through out there. So, here goes, I am going to restart without any constraints or expectations on myself, just a serious of stories from my Iditarod Trail Invitational race.
Totally incomplete, only vaguely linear, wholly inadequate, but hopefully somewhat entertaining:
To start things off, and to set the mood, I'm going to dump a few random thoughts and photos that started my draft report.
|On the way to the start|
In the Iditarod Trail Invitational the distances between checkpoints were each as long as an ultra, some close to 100 miles.
In ultras I also had to learn to stop counting miles and begin counting the hours.
In the ITI, I had to stop counting hours and begin counting the days.
Ironically, I discovered, the days were often measured in miles.
|Familiar woods from my time at Susitna 100|
|Enjoying the day on a typical frozen Alaskan swamp|
|The Real Iditarod racers|
|Their race would start a week later|
|Jill out to catch up with Beat|
|Amy out for a ride|
|Other Alaskan friends enjoying the trails|
|Cheezin' and looking gruff|