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 Impossible.
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 race

The Iditarod Race Route
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 the trail

11/3/2002 - Third report Andy and Al arrive at Unalakleet

15/3/2002 - Al and Andy reach Nome!!!!!

19/3/2002 - Andy posts the last report from Alaska

The 2002 Iditarod Invitation Race web site
Follow the race here.