Top Polaris riders Andy Heading and Alan Sheldon have been invited back out
to Alaska to defend their Iditasport Impossible race title.
Though all sorts of events title themselves ‘epic’ this is the real, ultra
gruelling, bordering on insanity, deal. ‘Highlights’ from last year include
temperatures as low as 58 degrees and being offered chocolate biscuits by
the Pope during one particularly sleep-deprived section. Despite eating over
7,000 calories a day, the almost constant riding through deep snow meant Andy
still managed to eat three full meals at different restaurants on his way
back from the finish line to his hotel!
Andy won the 1,100 mile race alone last year after Alan pulled out with a
serious ankle injury, but they’ve both been asked back for the Iditarod
Invitational. The race starts in Knik on 24th February and reaches the port
of Nome on the Bering sea about 3 weeks later (it took Andy 27 days last
year thanks to particularly appalling conditions).
The Matlock duo are riding specially built ultra-wide snow clearance bikes
from Orbit in Sheffield, with clothing sponsorship from Patagonia, and kit
from MSR, Black Diamond and Salomon.
After last year’s win, Andy told us “I just yearn to go back and be that tiny
little black speck in a massive, massive wilderness” .
he trails alternate each year between a north and a south trail, and if Andy makes it he
will be the first rider to complete both.
Check out the Idita sport website at www.iditasport.com.