UPDATE: Due to poor weather conditions, the 2020 Nome Golovin Race has been rescheduled for March 28th at noon. Racers will also have to signup again during a rescheduled meeting on the evening of March 26th. More details to come.
ORIGINAL: Despite many canceled events around the state, snowmachiners from across Alaska will take off at noon Saturday from East End Beach in Nome as part of the 2020 Nome-Golovin Snowmachine Race. Twenty-nine teams are signed up to race the 190 miles from Nome to Golovin and back.
One of those racers is this year’s reigning Iron Dog Champion, Nick Olstad of Wasilla, who will try his machine and skill at the sprint, but he’ll have some competition from last year’s winner, Erik Johnson of Nome, who has his own goal:
“I want to beat my time from last year and just have a quick fast run and be as safe as possible.”-Erik Johnson
Right now, weather is a concern. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Southern Seward Peninsula Coast that is expected to begin tonight and go through early Sunday morning.
Speaking to racers and their families at the registration meeting last night, Race Marshall, Kevin Bahnke, said they will continue to monitor the weather and possibly delay the start if necessary.
“And we typically make that decision on an hour by hour basis. If we delay at noon we’ll look at trying to get started at one. And we’ll make a final decision most likely by four o’clock.”-Kevin Bahnke
Last year, race officials decided to delay the race by one day due to another winter storm. Although sea ice conditions are generally more favorable than last year, the race announced on social media Friday morning that sections of the Golovin Bay have opened up, and teams will use the side trail.
Although there are normally four race classes, this year there will only be three. There weren’t enough women signed up to have a women’s category. Although two women showed up to race, race officials said that three women were needed to have the category.
Winners of each class will take home $1500 and 50% of the entry fees collected for their class.