More than 100 people registered for this year’s Homer Epic, a human-powered winter race on groomed snowmachine trails across the Caribou Hills. Participants had the option of biking, skiing or running for 50 or 100 kilometers in the race, which is a fundraiser for the Homer Cycling Club.
Warm, sunny weather last week, which reached 48 degrees on Wednesday, was followed by much colder temperatures, resulting in fantastic trail conditions for racers. Overall, 97 racers started the race on Saturday at McNeil Canyon, with 45 bikers, 28 skiers and 24 runners.
The 50-kilometer course followed a route that led from McNeil Canyon to a checkpoint at Caribou Lake, over Matthew’s Hill and back to McNeil Canyon. The 100-kilometer course followed the same route with an additional out-and-back on the North Fork Hills trail to a checkpoint near Nikolaevsk.
Racers traveled from as far as California and Nevada for the event. Alaskans from Anchorage, Chugiak, Cooper Landing, Eagle River, Fairbanks, Fritz Creek, Girdwood, Homer, Kenai, King Salmon, Kodiak, Palmer, Seldovia, Soldotna and Wasilla also traveled to Homer for the race. Finishers’ ages ranged from 14 to 65.
A skier was the overall winner in this year’s 100-kilometer Epic. Ben Marvin (Palmer) finished first overall and first in the 100-kilometer men’s ski race with an elapsed time of 6 hours, 10 minutes, closely followed by David Seramur (Kenai) who finished four minutes later to win the 100-kilometer men’s bike race.
Skier Shalane Frost (Fairbanks) finished third overall with a time of 6 hours, 21 minutes, winning the 100-kilometer women’s ski race. Sixteen-year-old Coby Marvin (Palmer) finished second in the 100-kilometer men’s ski race (and sixth overall) in 7 hours, 39 minutes. Homer’s Jessie Goodrich won the women’s 100-kilometer bike race with a time of 10 hours, 47 minutes. William Dube (Kodiak) was the first to finish the 100-kilometer men’s foot race with a time of 13 hours, 46 minutes. Erin McKittrick (Seldovia) won the women’s foot race with a time of 14 hours, 20 minutes.
In the 50-kilometer race, biker David Kingston (Anchorage) had the fastest overall time of 2 hours, 21 minutes, winning the 50-kilometers men’s bike race. Kristen Sommers (Anchorage) was close behind to finish second overall and first in the 50-kilometers women’s bike race with a time of 2 hours, 58 minutes.
Homer skiers Garrett Briscoe and Ethan Styvar crossed the finish line in a very close race. Briscoe was first (3 hours, 14 minutes) and Styvar was second (3 hours, 14 minutes, and 01 second) in the 50-kilometer men’s ski race. John Wros (Anchorage) was third in the 50-kilometer men’s ski race with a time of 3 hours, 21 minutes.
Kelly Carson (Anchorage, 3 hours, 23 minutes) was second in the 50-kilometer women’s bike race followed closely by Homer’s Kimberlee McNett (3 hours, 24 minutes). Homer’s Katie Marden won the 50-kilometer women’s ski race with a time of 3 hours, 50 minutes, followed by Gilia Degange (Anchorage) in second place (3 hours, 59 minutes). Homer’s Whitney Harness was third in the 50-kilometer women’s ski race (4 hours, 24 minutes).
Runner Naren Karur (Santa Clara, California) won the 50-kilometer men’s foot race with a time of 5 hours, 33 minutes followed by Graham Eversden (Henderson, Nevada) in 5 hours, 37 minutes. Kristen Bailey (Anchorage) was first in the 50-kilometer women’s foot race (6 hours, 32 minutes). Sondra Stonecipher (Soldotna) finished second in the 50-kilometer’s women’s foot race with a time of 6 hours, 50 minutes.
Chuck Lindsay is a member of the Homer Cycling Club and the volunteer race director for the Homer Epic. Cycling Club volunteers would like to thank all the racers who signed up and traveled to Homer, several local businesses for their support, and the Snomads snowmachine club for maintaining amazing winter trails and sharing them with us for the race.