Iditarod Trail Invitational cyclist Jill Homer made it to Nome in record time, hitting the finish line Wednesday afternoon to trim nearly three hours off the previous women's record.
Homer, a former Alaskan who lives in Los Altos, California, made the 1,000-mile journey from Knik Lake to Nome in 17 days, 3 hours, 46 minutes.
She sliced 2 hours, 39 minutes off the 2014 record set by Ausilia Vistarini.
Homer reported on her Facebook page that she passed Iditarod musher Jason Mackey on the 22-mile final stretch from Safety to Nome.
"I started out early Wednesday morning, riding into the Topkok Hills under starry skies and a temp of -20," she wrote. "I got sweaty and frosty fighting my way over those steep rollers as the sun rose. Musher Jason Mackey passed me on the last big hill, and I found his ski pole on the descent into the coast. I grabbed it and thought, "I'm going to catch him."
"I pedaled as hard as I could through the infamous blowholes (not so bad on this bluebird day.) When I got to Safety, he had already left. So I sat down with some veterinarians, had a Pepsi, and continued onto the unplowed road, riding glare ice and petrified wind drifts … and beat Jason to Nome by 20 minutes!''
Homer was one of 16 racers — 11 bikers, five runners — and the only woman entered in the 1,000-mile race, billed as the world's longest winter ultra-race. Eight racers remain on the trail.
Phil Hofstetter of Nome was the overall winner. He finished in 11 days, 5 hours, 15 minutes to claim his second victory.