ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - More than 700 cross-country skiers participated in the 30th annual Tour of Anchorage Saturday morning. The race took competitors on a 25km, 40km or 50km course through Anchorage’s trails ending up at the finish line at Kincaid Park.
Race director Matias Saari says the race has taken strain over the last four years because of marginal snow conditions, which have forced officials to shorten or modify the event. Organizers even had concerns for this year’s tour until recently.
“Three weeks ago we were thinking contingency plans because we didn't have a lot of snow and it's been dumping ever since,” Saari said. “That makes a lot of skiers and organizers happy because we can have the event that we want to.”
Saari said trail conditions on Saturday were “as good as it gets” thanks to consistent snowfall over the last few weeks.
The event did run into one slight hiccup shortly before the 50km race, when a moose wandered onto the trail and proceeded to eat all of the oranges at an aid station along the course. Race officials were initially planning to scare the animal off with a snowmachine, but it departed on its own accord about 20 minutes later.
“It was sort of an ‘only in Alaska’ ski race moment,” Saari laughed.