After a year’s hiatus, the Valdez Mayor’s Cup races are back and ready to bring the pain.
The Valdez Snowmachine Club calls its 200-mile Mayor’s Cup Cross Country Race “Alaska’s 200 Mile Adventure in Pain.”
“It’s more of an Iron Man, cross-country type of race,” said Rich Loftin, one of the race organizers, during a January interview.
Scheduled for March 18, the three-decades-old race was cancelled last year but is back this winter with both a 200-mile snowmachine race (with pro, semi-pro, women’s, vintage, and veterans’ divisions), as well as a 100-mile cross-country snowbike race.
“That’s a first,” said Loftin, who said he comes from a dirt bike background and thought the idea of a cross-country race aboard the narrow-track, one-ski machines might attract some competitive new riders to the race.
“I see the popularity of these snowbikes increasing and as it does, I know how dirt bike riders are and how they think,” he said.
His vision for the snowbike race is to create something similar to a Euro-style GP or desert bike race. So far, interest has been steady.
“It’s looking like 10, 12, 15 might be showing up,” for the snowbike race, he added.
As for the 200-mile snowmachine race, Loftin said riders will travel on a looped course that takes them on a nice tour of varying terrain.
“It’s wooded trails, across river beds out around the lake, up a hill and back down,” he said.
Loftin said race organizers are hoping for a big turnout this year and want to make sure the Mayor’s Cup gets back on track.
“We’re just trying to keep it going,” he said.
Registration for the 200-mile snowmachine race and 100-mile snowbike race runs through March 17 at 7 p.m.
Interested riders can contact Spook Metzger at (907) 831-0902, Loftin at (907) 461-7250 or Sarah V at (907) 831-0505. The club will also post updates on the race on its Facebook page.