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2013 2013

Lawrence Jones heads down the trail during the 2012 Iron Dog.

ROBERT DeBERRY/Frontiersman file photo

Supplement to the February 15, 2013


2013 Iron Dog teams Frontiersman.com

Following is a list of the Mat-Su Valley participants in the 2013 Iron Dog, which starts in Big Lake Feb. 17 and will end in Fairbanks Feb. 23. Team 2-Andrew Zwink/Ryan Sottosanti Ryan Sottosanti Snowmobile Polaris Switchback PRO-R 600cc Age: 36 Hometown: Anchorage Racer Status: Veteran Years Raced: 2010; 2011, 6th; 2012, 3rd

Andrew Zwink Snowmobile Polaris Switchback PRO-R 600cc Age: 23 Hometown: Anchorage Racer Status: Veteran Years Raced: 2008, DNF; 2009, DNF; 2011, 2012

Team 3-Bill Wilkes/Wayne Wold Bill Wilkes Snowmobile Arctic Cat F 1100 1100cc Age: 44 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Veteran Years Raced: 2009, DNF; 2010 Wayne Wold Snowmobile Arctic Cat F 1100 1100cc Age: 38 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Rookie Years Raced: 2009, DNF; 2011, DNF; 2012, DNF

Team 5-Ray Chvastasz/Jens Hopson (Anchorage) Ray Chvastasz Snowmobile Polaris Rush PRO-R 600cc Age: 36 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Rookie

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Team 6-Andy George/Brad George Andy George Snowmobile Polaris Switchback PRO-R 600cc Age: 50 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Veteran Years Raced: 1999; 2000; 2001; 2004; 2005; 2006, 1st; 2007, DNF; 2008; 2009; 2010, DNF; 2011, DNF Brad George Snowmobile Polaris Switchback PRO-R 600cc Age: 19 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Rookie Years Raced: 2012, DNF Team 8-Tyler Aklestad/Tyson Johnson (Eagle River) Tyler Aklestad Snowmobile Ski-Doo MX Z X 600cc Age: 27 Hometown: Palmer Racer Status: Veteran Years Raced: 2004, DNF; 2005, DNF; 2006, DNF; 2007; 2008, DNF; 2009; 2010, DNF; 2011, DNF; 2012, DNF Team 11-Todd Palin/Scott Davis (Soldotna) Todd Palin, Snowmobile Ski-Doo MX Z X 600cc Age: 48 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Veteran Years Raced: 1994, DNF; 1995, 1st; 1996, DNF; 1997; 1998; 1999, DNF; 2000, 1st; 2001; 2002, 1st; 2004; 2005; 2006; 2007, 1st; 2008; 2009; 2010, DNF; 2011; 2012 Palin/Scott Davis Team 12- Robert Strick/Steffan Strick Sr. (Mcgrath) Robert Strick Snowmobile Polaris Switchback PRO-R 600cc Age: 27 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Rookie

Team 13-James Croy/Jason Moore James Croy, Snowmobile Arctic Cat F 1100 1100cc Age: 40 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Rookie

Team 20- John Faeo Jr./Scott Faeo John Faeo Jr. Snowmobile Polaris Indy 600cc Age: 34 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Rookie

Jason Moore Snowmobile Arctic Cat F 1100 1100cc Age: 35 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Rookie

Scott Faeo Snowmobile Polaris Indy 600cc Age: 29 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Rookie

Team 16-Todd Minnick/Nick Olstad Todd Minnick, Snowmobile Polaris Switchback PRO-R 600cc Age: 33 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Veteran Years Raced: 2002; 2004; 2005; 2006; 2007; 2008; 2009, 1st; 2010, DNF; 2011, DNF; 2012 Nick Olstad, Snowmobile Polaris Switchback PRO-R 600cc Age: 30 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Veteran Years Raced: 2005, 1st; 2006, DNF; 2007, DNF; 2008,

DNF; 2009, 1st; 2010, DNF; 2011, DNF; 2012

Team 18 Chad Gueco/Aaron Loyer Chad Gueco, Snowmobile Ski-Doo MX Z X-RS 600cc Age: 29 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Veteran Years Raced: 2012 Aaron Loyer Snowmobile Ski-Doo MX Z X-RS 600cc Age: 27 Hometown: Palmer, Alaska Racer Status: Rookie Years Raced: 2010, DNF; 2012, DNF

2013 IRON DOG/WINTERFEST

Team 23- Eric Quam/Brian Dick (Thief River, Minn.) Eric Quam Snowmobile Arctic Cat Sno Pro 600cc Age: 42 Hometown: Palmer Racer Status: Veteran Years Raced: 1999, DNF; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2008, 1st; 2009; 2010; 2011; Team 25-Jason Wichman/Aaron Bartel (Anchorage) Jason Wichman Snowmobile Ski-Doo MX Z X-RS 600cc Age: 32 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Veteran Years Raced: 2009, 12th; 2010, DNF; 2011, 10th Team 26-Eagan Harold/Brian Jurenks (Anchorage) Harold Egan Jr. Snowmobile Polaris Rush PRO-R 600cc Age: 40 Hometown: Palmer Racer Status: Rookie

Team 31-Charlie Potter/Dale Bennett Dale Bennett Snowmobile Polaris Switchback PRO-R 600cc Age: 32 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Rookie

FEBRUARY 15, 2013


2013 Iron Dog teams Team 36-Ryan Johnson/Andy Lachinski Ryan Johnson Snowmobile Polaris Switchback PRO-R 600cc Age: 31 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Rookie

Andy Lachinski Snowmobile Polaris Switchback PRO-R 600cc Age: 40 Hometown: Wasilla Racer Status: Veteran Years Raced: 2009, DNF; 2010

Team 37-Nathan Whitted/Bo Phillips (Anchorage) Nathan Whitted Snowmobile Polaris Indy 600cc Age: 34 Hometown: Big Lake Racer Status: Rookie

Cody Barber Snowmobile Polaris Indy 600cc Age: 19 Hometown: Willow Racer Status: Rookie Years Raced: 2012, DNF

For the most current Iron Dog race information visit irondog.org. Look under the “For Race Fans,” tab to find event schedules, maps and GPS tracking for complete race details. “Race Tracking” will help you find past results and checkpoints. Racers each have a GPS unit on their machine, for live updates online.

Volunteers Making a Difference by Preserving, Reserving, Maintaining & Developing Sustainable Multi-use Trails. 501c3 non-profit – Please Join or Donate.

Find us on Facebook or at www.biglaketrails.org ROBERT DeBERRY/Frontiersman file photo

Kevin Dearborn holds onto his son Kyle as the two lean out to get a better look at the Iron Dog racers as they leave the starting chute at the 2009 Iron Dog on Big Lake.

FEBRUARY 15, 2013

Team 39-Shane Barber/Cody Barber Shane Barber Snowmobile Polaris Indy 600cc Age: 38 Hometown: Willow Racer Status: Veteran Years Raced: 2000; 2001; 2002; 2004; 2006, DNF; 2007; 2008; 2009; 2010, DNF

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2013 IRON DOG/WINTERFEST

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Charlie Potter Snowmobile Polaris Switchback PRO-R 600cc Age: 29 Hometown: Big Lake Racer Status: Veteran Years Raced: 2008, DNF; 2010, DNF; 2011, DNF; 2012

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2013 Big Lake Winter Fest Schedule Friday, Feb. 15 Southport Marina Ice 8:30 a.m. Trail Class begins positioning 10 a.m. Trail Class Start — Winter Fest crews & all others are encouraged to come cheer them on!

Winter Fest Ice Noon Begin Winter Fest Tent and Area Set Up

Saturday, Feb. 16 Winter Fest Main Event Tent 9 a.m. Winter Fest Information Booth Staffed with Programs Raffle Ticket Sales and Bling Competition Registrations 10 a.m. Registration Begins for BLT Family Fun. Cost is $20. Snowmachine Run 10 a.m. Registration Booth open for JayHawk Helicopter Rides. Cost is $50.

1:30 p.m. Main Stage — Jr. and Businessman’s Dog Sled Race Awards 1:30 p.m. Main Stage — Bunny Boot Bling — final registration must be completed. Cost is $20. 1:45 p.m. Main Stage — Ugliest Bunny Boot — final registration must be completed. Cost is $20. 2 p.m. Big Lake Chamber of Commerce Beer Garden Opens 2 p.m. Main Stage — Bunny Boot Bling Competition 2:30 p.m. Main Stage — Ugliest Bunny Boot Competition 4:45 p.m. Main Stage — Bunny Boot Bling and Ugliest Bunny Boot Winners Announced 5 p.m. Main Stage — Big Fungus Food Pantry Benefit Concert Begins BLT Family Fun Run Awards Begin 6 p.m. Main Stage — Helicopter Ride Raffle Winner Announced 6:50 to 9 p.m. Big Fungus Concert and Beer Garden continue in the Main Event Tent

Winter Fest Vendor Row 10 a.m. Vendors Open on Vendor Row 11 a.m. NAOI Winter Fest Safety Challenge Stations Open. Cost is $10.

Winter Fest Dog Sled Track — Aurora Dog Mushers Club 10:30 a.m. Jr. Dog Sled Races Mushers Meeting 11 a.m. Jr. Dog Sled Races begin with Aurora Dog Mushing Club. Cost is $36 11:30 a.m. Business Person’s Dog Sled Race Musher’s Meeting Noon Business Person’s Dog Sled Races begin. Cost is $100

Winter Fest Race Track Noon Vintage Racers Test and Tune 1 p.m. Kid’s 120 Snowmachine Races Begin

Winter Fest Helipad 10 a.m. Helicopter Rides begin with JayHawk Helicopters Registration Booth in Main Event Tent

Outside Main Event Tent 6:30 p.m. “Light Up the Ice” Fireworks Display by Aurora Pyrotechnics

Fun Photos on Vintage Machines — Houston High BPA

Winter Fest Race Track 9:30 a.m. Sign-Ups Begin for Vintage & Ice Racing Alaska Races

10 a.m. Possibility of additional Helicopter Rides 11:10 a.m. JayHawk Helicopter takes off with WF Raffle Winners

Southport Ice 10 a.m. Iron Dog Teams positioned in Race Pit 10:45 a.m. Color Guard, National Anthem and Announcement 11 a.m. First ID team at Start Line 11:10 a.m. First Green Flag drops — race begins

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Vintage Snowmachine and Iron Dog History Display

Winter Fest Helipad

Big Lake Library Open House

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East Lake Mall

Vintage Snowmachine and Iron Dog History Display Fun Photos on Vintage Machines — Houston High BPA

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8-10 a.m. Free Pancakes, Biscuits and Gravy Feed; sponsored by Big Lake Chamber of Commerce and Affordable Catering

Noon Vintage & Ice Racing Alaska Races

1 p.m. Broomball Tournament Begins 1 p.m. Dog Sled Rides Begin

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2013 IRON DOG/WINTERFEST

FEBRUARY 15, 2013


FIREW ORKS PA D 150’

TO B URKE SHO

RE M ARIN A

HOW TO GET TO THE FUN

200’x200’ parking lot

Aurora Dog Mushers Track

I-5 Plowed access to ID

South Shore Campground Ice Road Entrance

location Parking Access for 120’s, Aurora & Vintage Participa nts

IRO N

Welcome to Big Lake, Alaskans’ year-round playground. Part of what makes Big Lake uniquely Alaskan are the seasonal roads that pop up each season after winter has done its part. You’ll need to navigate a couple of these ice roads to reach the Winter Fest and Iron Dog festivities this weekend when a variety of activities are planned along Ice Road 5 from Friday, Feb. 15 through Sunday, Feb. 17. FEBRUARY 15, 2013

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Here’s how to get there: • Follow the Parks Highway to the turnoff to Big Lake Road. • Follow Big Lake Road to South Big Lake Road • Stay on South Big Lake Road to South Shore Campground entrance — this is Ice Road 5. Alternate route: • Follow Big Lake Road to North Shore Drive • Turn left onto Burkeshore Drive • At Burkeshore Marina, look for the entrance to Burkeshore Ice Road — which intersects Ice Road 5.

2013 IRON DOG/WINTERFEST

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Iron Dog has evolved alongside technology By ANDREW WELLNER Frontiersman.com

WASILLA — As races go, the Iron Dog belongs to something of an endangered species. “Over the years in the late ’60s and early ’70s and into the ’80s cross country racing became more difficult to arrange,” said Jim Wilke, president of the race’s board of directors. The race was born in the ’80s, right when land was getting locked up and snowmachiners were getting locked out. Another race, Wilke said, a very popular one from Winnepeg to St. Paul, shut down just before the Iron Dog started. Organizers said it was too much of a hassle to put together but an employee who went to Alaska was told if he could organize something, Yamaha would be behind it. “We got all the wheels in motion got the race organized and Yamaha said you know we just don’t have the money right now,” Wilke said. Not getting that big sponsorship check before the first race in 1984 was difficult, he said, but, “they helped over the

years a lot. It’s not like they just cut us off at the knees.” Since those early days, the race has changed enormously. “It is a completely different event, a completely different sport, almost nothing is the same except it is twoman snowmachine teams,” Wilke said. It’s not hard to figure out why it’s changed. The sport has evolved along with the machines riders use. “It’s really kind of evolved into an all-out high-speed sprint from the very beginning, whereas in the early years it was a long slog, a really difficult endurance trip and at times there were doubts that the riders would even make it,” Wilke said. There’s no question newer machines can make it from Big Lake to Nome to Fairbanks. And they do it in about the same

amount of time it used to take riders to reach Nome. “They’ve got virtually triple the horsepower and triple the suspension,” Wilke said. “They just don’t get beat up as much and they don’t spend as much time out there as they used to.” The route has also changed over the years. The early days the race followed a route to Nome along the Iditarod Trail. Sometimes they’d run Wasilla to Nome, sometimes Nome to Wasilla. In 1993 they made it a round-trip, Wasilla to Nome and back. In 1998 they changed it to include a Fairbanks leg. In 2005 it went back to a round-trip race. The Fairbanks leg returned in 2006. That change in 1993 was probably the

biggest, though. It doubled the length of the course, making the longest snowmachine race much longer. The thought, Wilke joked, was that, “1,000 miles is too short, we should make it tougher… Which never made any sense to me. 1,000 miles is plenty.” There have been years when the race had to start in McGrath for lack of snow, or skip 200 miles in the middle because of too much snow. Wilke said probably the biggest change to the race aside from the big, new machines, is likely the advent of GPS technology. “They just don’t get lost,” Wilke said. “That used to be one of the huge issues in the early days of the race.” Now even bad weather won’t knock riders off course or halt their progress. “If the weather’s bad they just turn on the GPS and keep going,” Wilke said. Contact reporter Andrew Wellner at andrew.wellner@frontiersman.com or 3522270.

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Robert DeBerry/2011 Frontiersman file photo

Marc McKenna and Dusty Van Meter leave the starting chute on Big Lake during the start of the 2011 Iron Dog.

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Iron Dog Schedule February 15 Southport Marina, Big Lake Power Sports, Big Lake, Alaska Trail Class Start 9-11 a.m.

February 16-17 Big Lake, Alaska - Big Lake Winter Fest All day festival during the Iron Dog weekend. 10 a.m. – midnight

February 17 Southport Marina, Big Lake Power Sports Big Lake, Alaska Pro Class Start Setup: 7:30-9 a.m. GPS Install/Pit Line Up: 10 a.m. Ceremonies: 10:30-10:45 a.m. Race Start: 11 a.m.

February 20 Nome National Guard Armory Nome Halfway Ceremonies Buffett Dinner: 6 p.m. Awards and Ceremonies: 7 p.m.

February 23 Downtown Fairbanks Race Finish First team arrives approximately 1 p.m. Podium Photo Opportunity: 3 p.m. Race Finish Winds Down: 4:30 p.m. Pike’s Landing Fairbanks, Alaska www.pikeslodge.com Awards Ceremony and Reception Pike’s Waterfront Lodge Cocktails: 6 p.m. Awards: 7 p.m. Lights Out Party: Pike’s Landing Bar Until 2:30 a.m. Chill Out: Pike’s Waterfront Lodge, Binkley Room Until midnight

Racers depart every 10 minutes

ROBERT DeBERRY/Frontiersman file photo

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Mike Morgan goes airborn after hitting a small bump on Big Lake during the start of the 2009 Tesoro Iron Dog.

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2013 IRON DOG/WINTERFEST

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2013 Iron Dog / Winterfest  

2013 Iron Dog race, Big Lake Winterfest