33rd Tour of Anchorage starts Sunday

Tour of Anchorage
Tour of Anchorage(Austin Sjong)
Published: Mar. 6, 2021 at 5:56 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage’s largest ski race takes place tomorrow, the race offers a ton of options for skiers and Fat Bikers. 50k freestyle, 50k classic, 40k freestyle, 40k classic, 25k freestyle, 25k classic, and 50k, 40k, 25k Fat bike races.

Matias Saari the Tour of Anchorage Director said, “The Fat Bikers it’s special for them because they get to ride some ski trails that are otherwise off-limits to them, most of the course is multi-use but there is some ski-specific trails that are opened up for one day.”

Normally there would be well over 1,000 people just in the skiing events but due to the pandemic, they have capped it to 875 skiers and 250 bikers. All of the races have been sold out, Saari attributing that to more people looking to get out into the beautiful winter weather instead of being locked away at home. As far as COVID-19 precautions go, they are really giving this year’s race a different look.

“We have taken COVID mitigation really seriously, we have analyzed every aspect of the event and sort of turned it upside down to make it as safe as possible,” Sarri said.

For starters, they restructured all of the races, with the 25k ski race starting first at 9 a.m., instead of noon like normal. Spreading out the race start times helps ensure that not too many people are finishing at the same time, hopefully preventing a large gathering at the finish line. Normally, they start the races in waves of 50 people but this year the Tour of Anchorage got approval to start in waves of 10, so, 100 waves of 10 people will be going off in 10-minute intervals throughout the day. Face coverings are mandatory at all times unless you are actively running the race. Last but not least, the finish line has also been moved from the Kincaid Chalet to the Kincaid Stadium to try and keep people spread out as well.

The Tour of Anchorage Director saying, “Really, the strategy is to get to the finish, catch your breath, get your grab and go sandwich and chips, then look for your ride and get out of there.”

Saari also saying that they have tried their best to keep the race fun and not just a ski and leave event. With a DJ at the start and their awards at the end.

Last year’s Tour of Anchorage was really the last big skiing event held right before COVID-19 really took its hold across the country. While that is why last year was historic, this year boasts one of the strongest fields in Tour of Anchorage history.

Saari saying, “A lot of these guys would normally be in Europe or on the World Cup or racing elsewhere they are in town this year a lot of them, so they want to race the tour, this is Anchorage’s biggest ski race.”

He is talking about big names like JC Schoonmaker, Logan Hanneman, Hannah Halverson, and Rosie Frankowski. All of which will be racing in the 50k race that takes off from Service High School.

The races start at 9 a.m. with the 25k skiers and go all the way until 4 p.m. with the 25k Fat Bikers. They will also be using live timing, so you will be able to follow along with the race as up-to-date as possible.

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