Race Across Alaska Winter Challenge

Three participants in the Race Across Alaska Winter Challenge. Jessica Fellman, Ellen Clark and John Sloan.

Five Delta locals and one part-time Delta resident participated in the Race Across Alaska Winter Challenge, a virtual event which began on Winter Solstice and ended on Spring Equinox. Race participants chose from five race distances; 125 miles, from Anchorage to Seward; 225 miles from Anchorage to Homer; 350 miles from Anchorage to Fairbanks, 850 miles from Anchorage to Deadhorse; and 2,000 miles from Ketchikan to Deadhorse.

When Ellen Clark entered the 225-mile race, her goal was to complete all of her miles outdoors. She successfully met that goal. Every day, regardless of weather, she recorded outdoor activity. She completed her race distance on February 21, but continued recording miles throughout the entire three-month event for a grand total of 292 miles. An impressive 263 of her miles were completed by skiing. 

John Sloan entered the 350-mile race, virtually traveling between Anchorage and Fairbanks along the Parks Highway. He also completed every one of his miles outdoors, the majority done by walking. Joining him for every one of those miles was his nearly 12-year-old dog, Clyde.

Arron Adams is no stranger to extreme Alaskan races; he and team-mate Jon Brant finished the 2,000-mile Iron Dog snow machine race in 2018. Adams was on an entirely different type of seat for this race, he also completed 350 miles, almost entirely on  a stationary bike.

Part time Delta resident Max Nichols completed 676 miles towards his 850-race goal. He walked every one of his miles on trails and dirt roads from Louisiana to California and back again.

It is no surprise that high school cross country coach Hilary Adams competed in this race. She completed 850 miles on February 15, a full month before the deadline. Many of her miles, 730, were done on a stationary bike, while 92 were done running, and the remainder were completed by walking and skiing.

Over 1,000 individuals registered for this inaugural Race Across Alaska, only 46 entered the 2,000-mile race, and of those only 28 completed the distance, one of those was Delta resident Jessica Fellman. 1,771 of her miles were done on an indoor bike. Running comprised 164 of her miles and the rest were completed by walking, skiing, and rowing.

The Race Across Alaska Winter Challenge was a fundraiser for the Alaska Long Trail, an Alaska Trails project connecting existing trails across the state to create one long trail system spanning the entire state.