It’s time for Super Bowl LIV, which means it’s time for Alaska Ski for Women XXIV.
For hundreds of Alaska women, Super Bowl Sunday begins with a morning ski race at Kincaid Park. This year marks the 24th anniversary of the inaugural all-women’s cross-country ski race.
Fun fact: When race founders Sally Burkholder and Anne Mize scheduled the first race in 1997, they had no idea the date they picked was the same day as the Super Bowl. All they knew was it was the only weekend day that winter with no ski races on the schedule.
A tradition was born. The women stuck with Super Bowl Sunday, and the Ski for Women became a popular, beloved event. As a bonus, it ends in time for racers to catch the kickoff of the day’s other big sporting event.
The Ski for Women is a ski race, costume party and fundraiser all rolled into one. It has raised more than $1 million for nonprofit groups that work to stop the cycle of domestic abuse in Alaska while providing services to women and children.
The costumes can be spectacular, and the competition ranges from elite skiers racing hard to once-a-year skiers there to see friends and check out the cool costumes.
If you haven’t signed up, you can do that Friday from noon to 7 p.m. at REI. If you’ve already signed up, you can pick up your bib at the same time.
A suggested donation of $35 ($15 for kids under 12) is requested in lieu of an entry fee.
If you miss Friday’s signup, you can register for the party wave — an untimed event — on Sunday from 9-11:30 a.m. at the Kincaid Chalet. The party wave, the last race of the day, begins at 12:15 p.m.
If you can’t make it Sunday, or if you want to add another race to your agenda, consider the 7th annual Mat-Su Ski for Women. Open to men and women, it’s set for Sunday, Feb. 9, at Government Peak.
Here’s a schedule of the game-day activities:
9-10 a.m. — Late registration and bib pickup, Kincaid Chalet
9 a.m.-2 p.m. — Shuttle bus runs between Kincaid Elementary to Kincaid Park (skiers are strongly encouraged to take the shuttle, because little parking will be available at the park)
10:30 a.m. — Racing begins with the 8-kilometer duathlon
10:35 a.m. — 4K skate wave
11 a.m. — 4K classic wave
11:45 a.m. — Costume parade and judging
Noon — Medals ceremony and costume awards
12:15 p.m. — 4K party wave (untimed event)