Salsa athlete Jill Martindale is deep into her 1,000-mile journey to Nome in the Iditarod Trail Invitational. Through her messages and social posts we’re able to share just a bit of her experience so far.
Since leaving McGrath, Jill has spent much of her time riding with or near Casey Fagerquist and last year’s champion, Petr Ineman.
“We’ve been sort of checking in with one another and waiting on the trail breakers, figuring out our drop bags, figuring out mechanicals, and having one heck of an adventure! There was lots of snow and pushing, 50 mph winds, -40 degree F nights, a missing drop bag, and we learned that all the schools up ahead (where Jill sent her drops) are closed due to Coronavirus. Holy heck. What an adventure,” Jill said.
Even with the difficulties, Jill has found positivity on the trail.
“This is hard. But I love the Iditarod people. A musher gave me some moose sausage in trade for a Snickers bar and musher DeeDee Jonrowe invited me to her kennel to go fat biking with her! So I’m having a hecking good time despite all the weirdness thrown into the mix,” she said.
Where is Jill now and what’s on her mind?
“We’ve made it to the coast! And I got to pet a sled dog! Sitting here full of pizza in Unalakleet, feeling really special thanks to all the cheers and support and encouragement each time I turn on my phone. The Iditarod Trail Invitational is so tough but beautiful; hard but worth it. I am so fortunate to be here racing, facing new challenges each day, and learning so much. Pushing through deep snow, high winds, soft conditions, deep cold, fear of Coronavirus, etc. We got this! Onwards to Nome!”
Follow Jill and the other athletes as they continue their journey via Trackleaders here: http://trackleaders.com/iti20
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The bicycle to me means a whole heck of a lot of things - friendship, community, exploration, the best job in the world, independence, self-reliance. I love that it can connect me with so many people and so many places, but I also love that it can disconnect me from those places and people.