While mushers with sled dogs are racing towards Nome on the Iditarod trail, racers on snowmachines will be headed from Nome to Golovin tomorrow in the 51st running of the Nome-Golovin snowmachine race.
Kevin Bahnke is the Nome-Golovin Race Director. He says since the first race in 1967, only one thing has really changed.
“Well, since this began, the only thing that’s changed is the machines are getting better and faster, but it’s still the same race course,” said Bahnke.
On Thursday night, in the old National Guard Armory building on Front Street in Nome, competitors from throughout the region received their bib numbers. Those bibs are different colors, signifying which class the racers will compete in.
Bahnke says the 39 registered racers have multiple classes to choose from this year.
“So we have four different classes: the fan-cooled, there’s a 600 class, a 0-to-600cc, and then there’s an open class which is 800 modified. We follow the same rules as ISR: international rules,” explained Bahnke, “and then we have the women’s. They go to Topkok and back.”
According to Bahnke, the winners of each class can receive anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000. But in order to receive that money, Bahnke says the finishers will have to traverse challenging trail along the Norton Sound coastline.
“It’s going to be a rough trail this year. It’s going to definitely be snow(y), and it’s not going to be record-breaking, so, it will be interesting to see who finishes,” Bahnke said.
All registered racers will start the annual Nome-Golovin race at noon Saturday on the sea ice across from East End Park. The top place snowmachiner is expected to finish in about two hours.
Tune into KNOM for full 2017 Nome-Golovin race coverage tomorrow, starting at 12 o’clock.