Waking up early that morning was the start of a mini adventure in itself. I ate breakfast at about 7am, again at 9am and then again
at around 11am, after that it was soon time for lunch and so it went on into the evening.
Peter and Tracey who welcomed us into their home in McGrath were without doubt the
best hosts one could wish for. Their home became the temporary home for all the finishing racers over the next week. We were spoiled
rotten. As well as being treated to a video of the '76 Paris Roubaix we went sledding with Peters dogs and also thrashed a couple
of snow machines up and down the river to get the 'slowness' out of our system. It was the best way to end such a race.
It was also a time to reflect a little on the previous week. The race is quite intense in some respects, if not actually riding or
walking you were packing or eating or trying to grab some sleep. I realised that despite the difficulty of the conditions and the
arduous nature of the race there had not been one moment of being miserable or wishing I was not there, I think there was just too
much focus and drive for that. I came to believe that barring injuries, whether you finish or not can be attributed to your attitude
on the start line. If there is any disbelief in your own ablity then you are already on a rocky path. Although my preparation had
been brief it had been quite thorough. 350 Miles was tangible for me, I could relate to such a distance and having to put in long hours.
Trying to come to terms with the notion of Nome and 1100 miles is a completely different matter however. At the moment the concept
is too far over my horizon line but I'd like to bring it closer, break it down into quantifible pieces and then put it all together
again as something that could be achieved. Tim Hewitt has my greatest respect as the only racer who continued onto Nome finishing some 16 days later.
I don't think I'll be doing the race in 2005 there are too many other places to visit
(maybe with a Fat Bike) but maybe in 2006, who knows.
I hope the race will continue for many years to come, I'm not sure if anything else exists that provides such a challenge and the
opportunity to meet such a great bunch of people. A special thank you has to go to Bill and Kathi Merchant who work so hard to make
the event what it is. Bill has the great ability to make you feel comfortable in the wilderness, good plain advice and always smiling.
Go do the race and visit him.
Alan Tilling April 2004
|1||Peter Basinger||USA||Bike||1||5days 00hrs 59mins|
|2||Eric Wilmot||France||Ski||1||5days 11hrs 54mins|
|3||Roberto Ghidoni||Italy||Foot||1||5days 21hrs 20mins|
|4||Alan Sheldon||UK||Bike||2||6days 05hrs 36mins|
|5||Tim Hewitt||USA||Foot||2||6days 08hrs 24mins|
|6||Carl Hutchings||UK||Bike||3||6days 08hrs 33mins|
|7||Andy Heading||UK||Bike||4||6days 11hrs 26mins|
|8||Alan Tilling||UK||Bike||5||6days 12hrs 30mins|
|9||Aidan Leheup||UK||Bike||6||6days 18hrs 06mins|
|10||Rok Kovac||Slovenia||Bike||7||7days 00hrs 36mins|
|11||Rajko Podgornik||Slovenia||Ski||2||7days 02hrs 56mins|
|12||Brent Veltcamp||USA||Ski||3||8days 14hrs 24mins|
|13||Marco Berni||Italy||Foot||3||8days 15hrs 35mins|
|14||Gigi Mazzocchi||Italy||Foot||4||8days 18hrs 30mins|
|15||Rob Kehrer||USA||Foot||5||9days 10hrs 45mins|
|15||Andy Wilson||UK||Foot||5||9days 10hrs 45mins|
|17||Brane Kozinc||Slovenia||Ski||4||10days 15hrs 00mins|
|18||John Schweiker||USA||Foot||7||11days 00hrs 45mins|
|dnf||David Barker Milner||UK||Bike|