The Impossible Race
Two Sheffield made Orbit cycles ready for the
start in 2001
Last year, 2001, saw a young British cyclist achieve an almost impossible
journey. Andy Heading travelled the 1,161 miles from Anchorage to Nome
to jointly win the Iditarod Impossible race.
The race is for skiers, runners and cyclists and parallels the world
famous Iditarod Dogsled race which commemorates the life saving run
by dog mushers to take medicine to Nome back in 1925.
Modern mushers re-enact the race each year for big money prizes and
in doing so keep alive the spirit of the people who took vacine to the
sick children of Nome.
For the people who are doing this without a sled
and dog team the race takes on a frightening perspective. A musher will
carry a sled load of survival gear for himself and his team, in addition
he will have the advantage of sponsors leavinf food drops alng the route.
It is reckoned that the dog food sponsors leave four times the amount
of food required, it keeps the local dogs fed for most of the year!
Competitors in the Iditarod Impossible can arrange food drops along
the trail but there seems to be more support for the dogs than people!
So we come to the impossible race. Three categories
can compete in three legs of the race. Skiers, foot competitors and
cyclist can enter, no engines here!
The race legs are IditaSport, IditaExtreme and the awesome Iditarod
At distances of 130 miles, 350 miles and a staggering 1,161 miles for
the full Impossible race.
Sadly Al Sheldon suffered a severe injury to his achilles tendon and
was forced to withdraw from the race at Iditarod. The pair agreed that
Andy should continue and he reached Nome and crossed the line with Mike
Estes the only other cyclist to finish, and only 15 hours in front of
Tim Hewitt and Tom Jarding travelling on foot.
Only four finished out of 130 competitors who started.
Andy and Al get ready
Andy Heading outlines the 2002
The Iditarod Race
The names and mileage on the route.
Kit list for the 2002 race
What it takes to do this race.
Reports from Alaska
24/2/2002 - Andy and Al's first report
4/3/2002 - Second report from
11/3/2002 - Third report Andy
and Al arrive at Unalakleet
15/3/2002 - Al and Andy reach
19/3/2002 - Andy posts the last
report from Alaska
2002 Iditarod Invitation Race web site
Follow the race here.