Reasonable temperatures and a fast trail generated a blazing Iditarod Trail Invitational, with bicyclist Jay Petervary of Idaho not only crushing the record in the 350-miler from Knik Lake to McGrath, but the top six finishers beating the previous standard and the top five breaking the three-day barrier.
Petervary arrived in McGrath on Wednesday in a time of 2 days, 19 hours, 16 minutes, which slashed more than nine hours off the 2007 record of five-time winner Peter Basinger.
Petervary already owns the 1,000-mile record for the race from Knik to Nome with his 2011 performance of 17 days, 6 hours.
In this year's 350 event in the human-powered race, Petervary topped Tim Bernston by 34 minutes -- runner-up Bernston clocked 2 days, 19 hours, 50 minutes. Just 17 behind him came Jeff Oatley and Kevin Breitenbach, who tied for third place.
Fifth-place finisher John Lackey reached McGrath in 2 days, 20 hours, 47 minutes. Sixth-place finisher Phil Hofstetter clocked 3 days, 2 hours, 47 minutes. Bernston, Oatley, Breitenbach, Lackey and Hofstetter are Alaskans. Jason Buffington of Minnesota took seventh in 3 days, 5 hours, 11 minutes. Eighth was Alaskan Brian Hartman in 3 days, 6 hours, 25 minutes.
Petervary last year set the record in the 2,745-mile Tour Divide mountain bike race from Alberta to New Mexico in 15 days, 16 hours, 4 minutes.
Eszter Horanyi of Colorado led the women's bike division Wednesday and remained on pace to beat Louise Kobin's 2011 record of 3 days, 22 hours, 20 minutes.