I don't have much of my own content to add today, but I wanted to post a link to this great New York Times article about the Iditarod Trail Invitational. There's an embedded video on the Web site that is probably my favorite piece of reporting I have ever found about this race. The video follows race organizers Bill and Kathi Merchant as they conduct a winter training camp for those who plan to attempt the race this March. It captures so well the transition - well, it's more of a startling realization - between the expectations about the Iditarod Trail and the realities of it. The two men at the winter camp, George Azarias and Aidan Harding, start out with the usual "easy explanation" Iditarod banter: "Oh yeah, we're crazy, we don't know why we're here. The guys go out on the trail, eat some nasty yellow glop, push their bikes for a while, and, suddenly, you can see that moment of truth in the face of George - the moment that I think every rookie experiences - the "holy cow, this is real" moment: "People think, OK, this race takes seven days. 350 divided by seven, that's 50 miles a day. On a road bike, easy, you do that in three, four hours, max," George says. His eyes widen. Cut to pushing a bike up a steep snow berm. "It's (voice becomes quieter) ... it's so hard. You need to struggle to survive."
Perfect. Great video reporting from the New York Times. Go watch it!