Welcome to the internationally renowned winter adventure ultra that paved the way for all other human-powered adventure ultras.
This approximately 175 mile race into Bush Alaska is located beyond the road system. Our race course is only accessible by snowmachine, airplane, dog team, or those individuals determined enough to make it under their own power. You will experience majestic landscapes and wildlife as you traverse across this unforgiving land. This out and back lollypop route still follows the original course set by the Iditarod founder Joe Redington Sr.
Distance between checkpoints varies from approximately 16 to 26 miles (26-42 Km). The route is set with reflective trail markers, we provide snowmachine support along the trail, tent camps outfitted with Arctic Ovens, (propane heated 4-season tents with rest area & water available), in between lodges. Food and lodging are available to purchase at all lodges.
Finish times can vary dramatically based on trail conditions and the unpredictable Alaskan weather. The record finishing time is 20 hours, set by Kevin Murphy in the bike division in 2014. 2019 had our slowest finisher complete the course in 3 days after 18 inches of new snow fell on the event. High winds, new snowfall, wind drifted trails and overflow are not uncommon.
Participants need to be prepared for below freezing temperatures. January temperatures can range from 40º to -50º Fahrenheit (4º to -45º Celsius) with temperatures varying up 60º F (33º C) in 24 hours.
Racers who have completed a Run or Bike 100 mile summer event, or have completed a ski, run or bike winter 50 mile event or by completing in an official Iditasport® pre-qualifying event like the Sila 3 Vette are able to sign up. Racers, athletes, and adventurers who live in cold weather climates, have adventured in long distance winter or summer excursions, or those with wildland fire or military backgrounds are encouraged to submit their race/training resume for consideration.
WIN CASH* IN 2020!
New for 2020, the Iditasport ® Classic is offering cash purses to the champions of each division!
ALSO—ALL IDITASPORT® CLASSIC ENTRANTS are eligible to win $500 at the pre-race meeting—so just signing up for the Classic, you can win! We will do a random drawing at the pre-race meeting with racer bib numbers. You must be present that evening to claim your prize.
Additionally, first place finishers in their respective categories, run, ski, or bike, will each receive $500. The overall winner will earn an additional $500. Which brings the overall winners total earnings to $1,000!
All finishers in the Iditasport® Classic will receive a coveted Iditasport® Ulu trophy personalized with your name and overall time!
*ALL AMOUNTS SHOWN ARE IN U.S.DOLLARS
All Iditasport® Classic racers must attend the gear check & pre-race meeting. January 17, 2020 at 6pm. Food and drink are provided.
At our pre-race meeting, you receive vital information on: winter safety, survival tips, strategies for avoiding frostbite and hypothermia, how to care for cold weather injuries, current trail conditions and weather forecasts, as well as how to keep yourself safe and in check with the environment. Required gear will be checked at the pre-race meeting!
Our pre-race meeting is sponsored and hosted by Learn to Return and will be held at the Learn to Return Headquarters:
5761 Silverado Way, Unit Q
Anchorage, AK 99518 Phone: (907) 563-4463
Veteran racers may request to opt out of our pre-race meeting, but must complete the gear check by no later than 9am at the starting line the day of race. Please contact race personnel to request a pre-race meeting waiver.
Required Gear for Iditasport® Classic
Please note rechargeable devices are not recommended. They do not fare well in cold temperatures, and can take hours to charge with limited opportunities to charge them. We recommend devices that use replaceable Lithium batteries.
Negative 20ºF (-30ºC) sleeping bag
Bivy sack or tent (unless sleeping bag has a built-in one)
Containers to hold 64 oz. of water (minimum)
Battery operated headlamp & red blinking light (front & back) with lithium batteries.
Liquid or Solid fuel stove
Fuel: 10 oz. or 10 14 gram solid fuel tablets
Firestarter (matches, lighter or flint & steel)
5,000 calories of emergency food supply (can be used during event)
Chemical hand warmers (10 minimum)
Racers must sign in and out at each checkpoint or be disqualified. Any racer who misses or skips an official checkpoint will be disqualified. Racers must also refresh their SPOT locators at each checkpoint.
Checkpoint #1 Scary Tree Tent Camp: 16 miles
Checkpoint #2 Yentna Station Lodge: 16 miles (32miles from start)
Checkpoint #3–McDougall Alaskan Lodge: 17 miles (49 miles from start)
Checkpoint #4 Skwentna Roadhouse: 16 miles (65 miles from start)
Checkpoint #5 Shell Hills Tent Camp: 22 miles (87 miles from start) (HALFWAY POINT. From here you loop back to Skwentna)
Checkpoint #6 Skwentna Roadhouse: 26 miles (113 miles from start)
Checkpoint #7 McDougall Alaskan Lodge: 16 miles (129 miles from start)
Checkpoint #8 Yentna Station Lodge: 17 miles (146 miles from start)
Checkpoint #9 Scary Tree tent camp: 16 miles (162 miles from start)
FINISH EagleQuest Lodge, Willow: Alaska 16 miles (178 miles from start)
10 Mile Tent Camp: This will be manned the first 24 hours of the races.
Total time allowed for completion of the Iditasport® Classic is 120 hours (5 days). You must be at the halfway point within 60 hours of the race start.
Racers must physically check in with race officials by 9am on race day February 18, 2019. Race starts at 10am
No Outside Help
Racers must be self sufficient and are only allowed to accept help from another racer or race official. No personal film crews, guides or photographers are allowed. You may film/photograph yourself, and other racers with their permission. No motorized equipment may be used to facilitate a racer in any way.
Drop bags are not required in the Classic. If you would like the option of a having a drop bag at the Shell Hills tent camp there will be a delivery fee of $40.00USD. Drop bags are limited to one bag per racer, must be no heavier than 10lbs (4.5kg), and must be clearly marked with the racer’s name.
Racers are allowed one bag at the finish line, Eagle Quest lodge, for clean clothes and personal items for use after the event.
Your entry fee includes the rental of a SPOT locator* . Your SPOT must be carried on you and turned on at all times during the race. Before departing checkpoints, racers must activate the “check in” feature on their device. Upon finishing, racers must give their locator to the race official. Lost or damaged locators may result in additional fees to be paid by the racer.
*SPOT rental comes with one set of lithium batteries that should last 48 hours. It is the racers responsibility to provide additional batteries as needed for the duration of the race. Note: Alkaline batteries will not work.
Litter/Used or Wet Gear
Leave no trace! Racers will be disqualified for littering. Racers are not allowed to leave wet or discarded clothing or gear at any checkpoint. Racer’s equipment (bikes, sleds, snowshoes, etc.) is absolutely not allowed in the checkpoints.
Racers who are unable to complete for any reason the race must notify race officials that they have scratched. Racers who have scratched may utilize Iditasport tent camps, but are otherwise responsible for their own accommodations and return travel upon scratching. If you need to be evacuated from a lodge, you will be responsible for food & lodging each day you stay at the lodge, and should be prepared to wait days in the event of poor weather conditions.
Iditasport can assist with arranging non emergency evacuation by aircraft or other third parties. Any costs incurred are the sole responsibility of the racer. Racers needing non-emergency evacuation by Iditasport race personnel will be charged a fee of $250. Evacuation will be by snowmachine and be first come first served. All racers MUST inform a race official as soon as possible that they have scratched and would like a nonemergency evacuation so we can make the necessary arrangements. Again, racers must be prepared to wait until personnel and equipment are available for the evaluation.