Doyle Woody

The Alaska Aces have scheduled a pair of exhibition games in October, just days ahead of their season-opening home series at Sullivan Arena.

The Aces on Monday announced they will play preseason games against the Missouri Mavericks on Monday, Oct. 12 and Tuesday, Oct. 13. Those games precede the ECHL season-opening, three-game series –a Friday, Saturday, Sunday series -- between the teams on Oct. 16-18.

The Mavericks and Aces have never played. The Aces have been members of the ECHL since the 2003-04 season and the Mavericks joined the ECHL last season after previously playing in the now-defunct Central Hockey League.

Ticket information for the Aces’ exhibition games, which start at 7:15 p.m. each night, will be announced later, the team said Monday...

Doyle Woody

Official practices for the eight Cook Inlet Conference’s high school football teams started Wednesday.

The work began months ago.

At Bartlett High, for instance, players six months ago were asked to commit to the 2015 season by lifting weights three times a week in organized workouts.

“We tell kids, ‘You need to decide by the end of January if you’re playing football next season,’ ‘’ said co-coach John Jessen.

At defending large-school state champion South, which has seized two of the last three titles, coach John Lewis last November, in the month after season’s end, gathered his staff for a postseason meeting...

Doyle Woody

David Tuttle knows he has big headphones to fill.

The longtime color analyst for UAA hockey radio and television broadcasts Wednesday was named play-by-play broadcaster for the Seawolves, who are nearing their 36th season. He becomes just the third person to hold that job.

Tuttle, 39, replaces Kurt Haider, who earlier this summer, after 19 seasons as the voice of the Seawolves, became the broadcaster and media relations director of the ECHL’s Alaska Aces. Tom Miller worked the first 16 seasons of UAA hockey.

“I’m so thrilled. It’s a huge sense of responsibility,’’ Tuttle said. “Kurt set the bar extremely high. It’s a lot to live up to. Kurt is one of a kind. My thing is, I’ve got to me myself.’’...

Doyle Woody

Technically, Kenny Herriot won The Alaska Challenge handcycle race when he finished Monday’s final, taxing stage, an 18.8-mile, rain-soaked, mist-shrouded climb from Palmer to Independence Mine in Hatcher Pass.

By the Scot’s reckoning, though, the springboard to victory was loaded in the weeks and months prior to the week-long, eight-stage grind of the Challenge.

Herriot put in training weeks of 100-plus miles. He regularly exhausted himself in the gym. And he steeled his mind for the challenge of the Challenge – more than 230 miles of competition with, seemingly, daunting hills throughout.

“Races are won and lost on hills,’’ Herriot, 53, said by cellphone Monday afternoon. “So, you put in the work and get here and hope you perform...

Doyle Woody

Active and outgoing, generous and gregarious, Jeff Dusenbury seemed to know someone in every Anchorage crowd, whether through his prolific bicycling, his job in sales for Food Service of America or his neighborhood connections.

Little wonder, then, that registration for an inaugural footrace and walk Friday night in Dusenbury’s memory already is nearing 400.

“He just had so many friends,’’ said Missy Anderson, Dusenbury’s friend and a race organizer. “It doesn’t take much to spread the word.’’

Dusenbury, a West High graduate, long-time Anchorage resident and avid bicyclist, runner and skier, died while bicycling a year ago when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Anchorage. He was 51...

Doyle Woody

Muffy Davis first visited Alaska as a teenaged alpine skier from Sun Valley, Idaho, racing in the Junior Olympics on Mount Alyeska, and she vividly recalls the gorgeous view from atop the mountain in Girdwood.

She remembers heavy snowfall forced cancellation of the downhill, but afforded the chance to free-ski virgin powder. Alaska, she said, struck her as beautiful beyond belief, and a place she easily imagined returning.

Three decades later, Davis is finally back, this time as a decorated athlete competing in The Alaska Challenge, which bills itself as “The Longest And Toughest Handcycle Race In The World.’’...

Doyle Woody

The breadth of Andrew Kurka’s athletic interests seems boundless -- Paralympic alpine skiing, wrestling, bodybuilding, waterskiing, X Games, Arctic Man Classic -- and this week he is adding yet another sport to his resume.

Kurka will make his handcycling racing debut in The Alaska Challenge, which merely bills itself as “The Longest and Toughest Handcycle Race In The World." Seven days of racing starts Tuesday in Anchorage with a time trial from Lake Hood to Kincaid Park starting at 9:15 a.m. followed by racing on the 400-meter oval at Cuddy Family Midtown Part at 2 p.m...

Doyle Woody

Every centimeter matters mightily in international track and field, as world-class athletes Jordan Clarke and Janay DeLoach learned again Friday in a star-studded Diamond League meet in Monaco.

Clarke, the former Bartlett High star and multi-time NCAA champion, finished sixth in a field of eight men’s shot putters with his heave of 67 feet, 11.75 inches. He finished .50 of an inch, or about one centimeter, out of fourth place and 2.25 inches out of third place.

DeLoach, the former Eielson High star and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, took sixth in a field of eight women’s long jumpers with a leap of 21-10. She was one inch, or about three centimeters, out of fourth place and three inches out of third place...

Doyle Woody

Fun facts – news you can actually use – about the hike up the North Face Trail at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood:

-- Hike the full trail and there’s no need to hike down because you can catch a free return ride on the aerial tram.

-- Adults should consider carrying their I.D. and cash or credit card because, upon finishing the climb, adult beverages are available at the Bore Tide Deli. Food and other refreshments also are available.

-- While traversing high on the trail and crossing beneath the aerial tram, it is possible in wet conditions -- provided your timing is precise -- to have moisture drip from the tram or its cables and give you a refreshing, pace-quickening splash on the back of the neck...

Doyle Woody

Beware myriad false summits -- Bird Ridge is a particularly coy mountain to newcomers exploring the mountain’s steep slopes overlooking Turnagain Arm.

A first-time hiker on the spine about 25 miles south of Anchorage can easily be fooled -- several times, actually -- into thinking the summit looms near. In all but one case, it decidedly does not.

Another piece of advice: Take ample water because the only source on Bird Ridge is what you bring.

A generous supply of water proves particularly clutch on a sweltering day. That was true on a scorching afternoon in June when guest dog Maisy McGee, a seemingly indefatigable border collie mix, joined me for a panting, tongue-dragging journey to roughly 3,500 feet elevation...

Doyle Woody