By Rebecca Rusch
Risk = Reward
My curiosity drew me to Alaska and the Iditarod Trail Invitational three years ago. Could I survive a winter bike expedition in the Last Frontier? I found out I could. Grit got me through my rookie year. Preparation and training got me through the 2nd year despite some of the worst weather in the race history. I am back in Alaska ready to race my third Iditarod Trail Invitational as I build on experience in winter ultra bike packing.
2019, my rookie year, I was fearful and inexperienced. I survived on true grit and the kindness of Mother Nature. In 2020, I was confident and prepared and I needed every ounce of strength and preparation. Last year taught me that I’m resilient, powerful and capable in any environment.
As we return for 2021, the 20th anniversary of the race, things are different… For the first time ever, the course has been re-routed as an out and back to protect the remote, isolated village communities. Covid safety measures are extensive with testing prior to the race and at the start and finish lines. I will attempt self support and avoid any lodges or shelters for my own learning and evolution. I know the trail will provide gifts and I’m ready to accept.
Here’s my evolution on the Iditarod Trail.
2019 Rusch to Alaska by Outside TV.
2020 Distant Dharma
Follow along on the 2021 adventure! Follow all the races on Trackleaders and get real time updates while we are on course! The ITI website is also a great place to get all the latest updates and you can check out my gear prep, videos and my personal Garmin tracking page on my website!
The race starts Sunday, 2pm Alaska time! Thank you for sending me sun and tailwinds.