Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is your vision for the TRC?
A: When we first started discussing the TRC, it became apparent that we all wanted to create not just another race, but an event. An event that brings multiple different recreational groups together to engage in friendly competition, enjoy the beautiful interior Alaskan spring weather, and meet new (and old) friends along the course and at the after party. During the first meeting we explored a couple of routes (all of which were awesome), with the same general theme; incorporating the local rivers. What you see today is the latest rendition of what we hope to become a long standing tradition in Interior Alaska.
Q: Why does the race cost that much?
A: Although we have some road access this year, other checkpoints need to be set up using snowmachines. Gas is expensive. Insurance is another huge cost. All of the stuff at the checkpoints adds up pretty quickly too. Printing and advertising isn’t free. Also, the after party plays its part in expenses (but this is totally worth it).
We try to keep costs as low as we can while still providing a safe and enjoyable event. Please note we don’t profit off of this. Everyone volunteers their time and effort. We’ve used some of our extra funds this year to clean up the Rosie Creek trails for both the race and users at large.
Q: Can I participate as a walker/kick-
A: Although this is a very reasonable question; for the 2016 TRC the answer is no. Not that we don’t recognize these other activities as winter time recreation; we started with what we know. The race committee is made up of skiers, bikers, and skijorers. We added runners in 2015 as our course **should** lack bottomless sugar snow. Maybe future race committees will have a more diverse representation and can incorporate these sports. Although, my prediction is that jet-packs will take off just like fat-biking did.
Q: What sort of food and drinks will be available at the checkpoints?
A: There will be a small assortment of snacks and drinks available at each checkpoint to replenish race participants. The checkpoint officials will have water, hot water for tea, instant coffee, and hot chocolate available at all times. We’ll also send out a Facebook message the week of the race for any specific requests. Please bring your own snacks for dogs.
Q: Is the Tanana River trail wide enough for skate skiing?
A: Yes… it will be a super highway in the stretch we use this year. By March, the trail varies from very wide to wide. It’s a snowmachine packed route. The trail is sometimes concave or trough-like, but one can ski “downhill” for miles by straddling “berms” where available. There are some of the usual humps and bumps found on many snowmachine trails, but it’s mostly flat. Bring full sized skate skis, but leave your brand-new or best pair at home.
Q: How about the Rosie Creek trails?
A: Some sections are skate-able on shorter skis, but it also depends on your technique. Many of the trails we are using are old logging roads. We try to groom the trail as wide as possible and spend considerable time on trail clearing and maintenance.
Q: Can I use metal-edge skis?
A: Yes. Unless there is a substantial amount of ice, you should not need them. If you choose to skijor with them, a good idea is to use a pulk in-between yourself and the dogs. Please use care when skiing around dogs.
Q: Can I sleep at the checkpoints?
A: No. The 45-mile race event has a 11-hour time limit and is not intended to be an overnighter. Racers should be physically fit and fast enough to finish the course within the set amount of time.
Q: Will the TRC trail be groomed for the race?
A: Yes, we will make sure the trail is dragged. However, there will be no set classic tracks. The width will likely be variable. And some parts will deteriorate into mush after 50+ people. There may be areas of windslab and sugary snow. Racers should be prepared to race in all conditions.
Q: How many people will be allowed to enter the race?
A: We have a limit of 120 racers. We strongly recommend early registration so we can better plan for the race.
Q: Do I have to have a pulk if I am skijoring?
A: No. Skijorers should be self sufficient and have the option of either carrying gear in a pack or bringing a pulk. Like your fellow skiers and bikers, if you or your dogs have a problem you should be prepared with enough gear for everyone to wait for assistance. The pulk does offer some advantages: you can carry a snowhook to tie off your dogs (good idea if you are running 3), you can easily carry the kitchen sink (or a dog) and some dogs actually really like pulks. The TRC does not allow dogs to be dropped anywhere on the course. If your dog can’t finish you leave with them.
Q: What if I only have one dog, can I still skijor?
A: Not unless you can convince Erin that your dog will actually be happy to run that far by itself (it takes a very special dog). The minimum number of dogs you can use is 2. You are personally responsible for any dogs that you bring.