Arms spread wide in celebration, Jason Lamoreaux edged fellow Anchorage fat-tire biker Tim Bernston by less than 10 yards Saturday to claim the Little Su 50K race.
Pedaling through fresh snow that forced bikers to get off and push on uphills, Lamoreaux posted a two-second victory — the closest on a day when a total of six races were contested — to prevail in 2 hours, 45 minutes, 37 seconds.
It wasn't easy.
"Tim is always really strong in the longer races," Lamoreaux said in an email Sunday. "You can't let him get away from you or you'll never see him.
"My goal was to make sure I held onto him until the finish. I felt pretty good about my chances in a sprint finish if I could get there, but didn't think I would have any success getting away out on the course."
Bernston led most of the way, but Lamoreaux took the lead occasionally.
"With about 2 miles left, Tim attempted a couple sprints to get away from me. I was just able to hang on each time. We stayed together until about 200 yards to go when I put in a sprint for the finish. He held close (and) was closing the gap a bit in the end.
"It's always great to pull off a win in a race like this, but it adds even more to it to do it against someone with Tim's credentials."
One of Southcentral's top fat-tire bike racers, Bernston captured the 43-mile Frosty Bottom race in Anchorage last month on a course coated in deep, fresh snow that at least one top racer called "brutal." Lamoreaux was fourth in that race, nine minutes behind Bernston.
In the women's 50K, Jill Simek handily topped fellow Anchorage cyclist Danielle Dalton by more than 26 minutes to win in 3:51:51.
Also coasting to comfortable wins were Laura Fox and Will Ross in the 100-mile bike races. Fox posted a whopping 1-hour, 20-minute victory over runner-up Amber Bethe, while Ross cruised to an eight-minute win over Brian Bonney.
"The conditions were definitely challenging — lots of fresh snow from the past week," Fox said, noting that she borrowed some wider rims and tires, and they made a difference. "There were some long sections where we had to walk, and some sections of overflow. I tried to be patient and not thrash around in the soft new snow too much early in the race for fear of wearing myself out."
Winter bikers, runners and skiers competed in either the 50-kilometer Little Su or the 100-mile Susitna 100, with both races starting and ending at Big Lake. The fastest finished in less than three hours; others took longer than a full day to reach the finish line.
Along the Susitna River, temperatures dipped to minus 10. But the start and finish lines were warm. Champion Iditarod musher Martin Buser hosts the races at his Happy Trails Kennel in Big Lake, allowing pooped racers to snooze and recuperate afterward.
"Buser was an awesome host," Lamoreaux said. "It was great to see him running out to cheer on all the finishers and hang out to chat with everyone after the race. I'm sure he has lots going on preparing for the Iditarod in a couple weeks, but he made it seem like our race was the only thing on his plate that day."
By late Sunday afternoon, several 100-mile runners, bikers and skiers remained on the course.
Full results here.
Top 10 Men Cyclists
1) Will Ross, Anchorage, 13 hours, 20 minutes; 2) Brian Bonney, Anchorage, 13:28; 3) David Arteaga, Anchorage, 13:38; 4) Nicolas Baudin, Anchorage, 14:14; 5) John Sindell, Anchorage, 14:36; 6) Allan Laframbo, Big Bear Lake, Calif., 14:53; 7) Paul Hosmanek, Anchorage, 14:54; 8) Martin Renner, Homer, 15:07; 9) Justin Libby, Anchorage, 15:09; 10) Tom Peichel, Anchorage, 15:10.
Top 10 Women Cyclists
1) Laura Fox, Anchorage, 14:18; 2) Amber Bethe, Anchorage, 15:38; 3) Janice Tower, Anchorage, 15:44; 4) Darcy Davis, Anchorage, 16:49; 5) Christina Grande, Anchorage, 18:39; 6) Pamela Todd, Eagle River, 21:05; 7) Christine Bennett, Anchorage, 22:28; 8) Rose Garner, Anchorage, 27:35; 9) Lilly Sawle, Fairbanks, 28:12; 10) Cheryl Wallace, Boulder, Colo., 28:19.
Little Su 50K
Top 20 Men's Bike
1) Jason Lamoreaux, Anchorage, 2 hours, 45 minutes, 37 seconds; 2) Tim Berntson, Anchorage, 2:45:39; 3) Clinton Hodges, Anchorage, 3:07:13; 4) James Stull, Anchorage, 3:15:01; 5) Matthew Tabinor, Anchorage, 3:15:26; 6) Rob Cushman, Anchorage, 3:19:13; 7) Jakub Jiracek, Anchorage, 3:39:55; 8) Kyle Hampton, Anchorage, 3:50:44; 9) Patrick Crabb, Anchorage, 3:53:43; 10) Matt Reimer, Anchorage, 3:53:54; 11) David Slyker, Anchorage, 3:56:45; 12) Jacque Drumm, Talkeetna, 3:56:56; 13) Mick Bakker, Anchorage, 4:02:02; 14) Ed Wise, Anchorage, 4:03:22; 15) Matt Tanaka, Anchorage, 4:06:20; 16) Oliver Sternicki, Anchorage, 4:07:26; 17) Robb Christenson, Anchorage, 4:12:03; 18) Travis Stueber, Anchorage, 4:14:42; 19) Brant Grifka, Eagle River, 4:25:24; 20) Darin Marin, Anchorage, 4:31:42.
Top 20 Women's Bike
1) Jill Simek, Anchorage, 3:25:03; 2) Danielle Dalton, Anchorage, 3:51:51; 3) Kinsey Loan, Eagle River, 4:02:28; 4) Amber Stull, Anchorage, 4:03:59; 5) Shelly James, Anchorage, 4:03:59; 6) Carolyn Kirchner, Anchorage, 4:25:34; 7) Heather Campfield, Palmer, 4:35:27; 8) Shannon Titzel, Anchorage, 5:04:36; 9) Kristi Shea, Wasilla, 5:27:40; 10) Katie Miller, Anchorage, 5:27:55; 11) Sheryl Loan, Eagle River, 5:31:38; 12) Melinda Greig Walker, 5:35:31; 13) Naomi Tomco, Anchorage, 6:20:50; 14) Brook Evinson, Anchorage, 6:33:37; 15) Jennifer Diederich, Eagle River, 6:39:59; 16) Melissa Diederich, Eagle River, 6:40:01; 17) Lisa Wiley, Anchorage, 6:41:08; 18) Annie Zink , Palmer, 7:12:42; 19) Katie Naylor, Wasilla, 7:12:43; 20) Bonnie Wanat, Eagle River, 7:25:16.
Top 5 Men's Run
1) Scott Gage, Wasilla, 6:08:53; 2) Trevor Howell, Eagle River, 7:16:15; 3) Stephen Fink, Iliamna, 7:30:24; 4) M. Scott Moon, Kenai, 7:57:16; 5) Anthony Hartman, Anchorage, 7:59:02.
Top 5 Women's Run
1) Kari Konrath-Bera, Chugiak, 6:44:26; 2) Kyle Colburn, Anchorage, 7:02:56; 3) Anne Fink, Iliamna, 7:30:24; 4) Riley Bennett-Vockner, Nome, 7:42:44; 5) Amanda Day, Eagle River, 8:23:54.
Top Men's Ski
1) Grant Cain, Anchorage, 6:57:54.
Top 3 Women's Ski
1) Sarah Douglass, Anchorage, 5:27:28; 2) Karen Hopp, Palmer, 7:22:21; 3) Elizabeth Appleby, Anchorage, 9:49:50.