Arrowhead 135 Stories

Image Credit:  Bonnie Moebeck
The Arrowhead 135 is a human powered ultra-endurance marathon that takes place every year traveling 135 miles from International Falls to Tower, MN.  Participants must run, ski or bike the distance with their sub-zero survival gear,  no outside help except for other racers or race officials and they must follow a strict set of race rules out on the course.  This year's running was exceptionally tough for the 135 participants because of a heavy snowstorm that blasted through midway into the race causing countless problems for racers and their equipment.  Many of the bikers had to get off and push their bikes as they no longer were able to pedal through the deep, wet snow.

Image Credit:  Bonnie Moebeck
Though this year's race saw the largest starting field since its start nine years ago, it also had its second lowest finish rate at 35%.  Of the 49 finishers, 40 of them were bikers.  Unfortunately, of the many women that attempted this great feat, none were successful.  However, a new bike speed record was set as Todd McFadden won the race with a time of  14 hours, 20 minutes.

This year's Arrowhead 135 lived up to its tough reputation according to the book as one of  "The World's Toughest Endurance Challenges".

Race participants are just beginning to blog about their experiences and these are a few of the stories that I have come across that share their trials and tribulations of this extremely difficult race.

Kevin Breitenbach of Alaska recaps the hurried pace of being a part of the three lead riders and trying to keep ahead of the winter storm that was bearing down on them.

Ben Doom from Minnesota recalls his trek to a 4th place finish and his post Arrowhead 135 week.

Charly Tri of Rochester, MN recaps his 10th place finish in two posts.

Jay Cable of Fairbanks, AK chronicles his trip to reach his goal of finishing under 24 hours, taking 13th place.

Duluth native, Tim Ek recalls his 17th place finish in "The Race That Wasn't Supposed To Have A Story" Part 1 & 2.

Minnesotan Steven Steichen recalls what it took to not become a DNF statistic and be one of the 40 bikers to finish the grueling ultra-endurance race.

Jill Hueckman of Colorado describes the difficulties the heavy snow brought to this year's Arrowhead 135.

Former Minnesota native now living in New Mexico, Judd Rohwer breaks down "Back of the Pack Racing's" Arrowhead 135 experiences in great detail.

Bonnie Moebeck of Eagan, MN describes her experience of dealing with heavy snowfall, warm/cold temperatures and equipment failures that made up the brutal race conditions for her first Arrowhead 135.

Five racers make the tough decision to scratch after hours of pushing on through deep snow.

The Arrowhead 135 is truly a race that will test participant's strength, skill, endurance & will and put their bikes and equipment to the ultimate test.  Respect goes out to all who attempt one of the world's toughest endurance challenges.

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