Wednesday, March 26, 2008

All Alaska Sweepstakes - Day One

A commemoration of Alaska's colorful past. A celebration of Alaska's official sport and Centennial re-run of the famous dog sled race between Nome and Candle.
The All Alaska Sweepstakes began this morning. It is a hectic, out and back run of about 400 miles, with a winner take all $100,000 purse. There is a description of the route in the book "The Cruelest Miles" from a very cool Sweepstakes BLOG:

“For the first fifty miles, the trail ran east along the blustery coast
and up Topkok Mountain, a steep, 600-foot incline rising up over the
sea. It turned inland and climbed steadily through willow and cottonwood
bush, then across creeks & rivers to Council, a mining settlement 80
miles from Nome. The route snaked through valleys, tiptoed along
ridgetops as narrow as a sled was wide, and sloped off in half-mile-long
drops. Then, about 120 miles into the race, the trail entered Death Valley.

“If the musher had survived this far, he climbed a glacier to cross over
the Continental Divide–the boundary line separating the Pacific and
Arctic Ocean watersheds. Thirty miles farther lay the turnaround mark,
the village of Candle, which was situated near Kotzebue Sound on the
north shore of the peninsula. An exhausted and sleep-deprived driver
would have to turn around and face the same terrible 204 miles all over
again. …

Winners of the 2nd All Alaska Sweepstakes 1909. J. Berger, owner; Scotty Allan, driver.


There are 16 drivers entered this year. Lance Mackey and Jeff King, who came in 1st and 2nd respectively, in the Iditarod, are both racing. They have covered over 80 miles today. Lance, who was 15th out of the chute this morning was in the lead as of this evening, but by only a few minutes. There are just 2 women entered. Race standings are HERE It's interesting to note, the entrance fee for this race is between $1500 and $2000 (..depending on when you enter) AND 1 ounce of gold! I guess gold is still common currency in Alaska~!~

Another very cool sweepstakes Blog. Photos shared tonight are from the blogs featured and the ASS website.

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