Photos courtesy of Lora Bodmer
At 10:17 p.m. on March 5, Rebecca Rusch finished first at the 2021 edition of the 350-Mile Iditarod Trail Invitational in Alaska, winning both the women’s and the inaugural self-supported category—which meant she didn’t receive any of the meals, indoor recovery, or other outside support athletes in the general class typically benefit from. Although Rebecca and her husband Greg Martin had no plans to ride as a team this year, Rebecca explained that it just happened naturally, and they ended up riding from point to point together until the end.
“It is empowering to move through nature this way… under my own power and getting to see places that almost no one will ever see,” said Rusch. “Riding self-sufficient was a big and scary commitment and I’m proud of how we executed the ride. Winning was icing on the cake, but I went in with a mentality to execute a strong, safe expedition, and this accomplishment is one of my proudest achievements to date.”
Among the top general category finishers were Aaron Thrasher in first place, Fletcher Yancey in second, and fan favourites Jay Petervary and 16-year-old Jacob Hora ,who finished first in the Bivy Category (they had to sleep outside, but could otherwise use the checkpoints and resupply). There are a number of riders still out on course. You can follow along live here.
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