Race Across Alaska Winter Challenge

Thu December 21 - Tue March 19, 2024

2024 RAAWC Ambassador Program

Application is now closes. Our application will open September 2024 for next Winter's Challenge. Hoping to apply? We are looking for athletes that are highly involved on our Virtual Race Across Alaska Private Facebook group through supporting others but also through inspiration, real life, and positive posts that help encourage others to get active in the Winter. 

 

RAAWC Ambassador Benefits:
Complimentary entry into the RAAWC
RAAWC apparel package
Featured on our website

What does a RAAWC Ambassador do?
RAAWC Ambassadors help spread the word about RAAWC to their community!

Ambassadors should be:
Passionate and active runners, hikers, bikers, swimmers, and/or xc skiers
Outgoing and friendly people that believe in inclusivity of all types of people
Able to make a one-year commitment (October 2023-May 2024)

One-Year Commitment Includes:
Active on personal social media accounts posting about RAAWC
Active on our private RAAWC Facebook group & Instagram page
Involvement with local clubs to help spread the word about RAAWC
Engage with first timers in the Facebook group
Help at RAAWC events, if local (Solstice Tree Tour, Swag pickup events, medal pickup events)

Tina Lam

Anchorage, Alaska

This will be my 4th year participating in the RAAWC and an honor to be selected as an ambassador again. Born and raised in Anchorage, AK. I am very active in the local running community, in the Anchorage Running Club, Raven Run Club, and volunteer Athletic Director of Team RWB Anchorage. This year, I became the Alaska Ambassador for Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics. I run year round, but the RAAWC adds extra motivation to stay active during the winter months. The RAAWC helps make the winter months go by faster. I like to inspire and motivate others to get outside and enjoy our beautiful state. It is always fun to meet and see other racers in the community. The RAAWC has been very encouraging and has helped me stay connected to my friends, in state and out of state. The multisport challenge will help with GNT training.

 

Carrie Plant

North Pole, Alaska

As a two-time cancer survivor, I embarked on my journey to fitness in 2020, initially taking small steps like setting 60-second timers for my workouts, eventually leading to significant accomplishments. Now a recreational triathlete with three seasons of races under my belt, including firsts in various categories, I've aptly nicknamed myself "UltraBeginner." My focus is on enhancing my skills and strength while repeating and improving at events. My upcoming goals include participating in the Gold Nugget and Moose Nugget Sprint Triathlons, beating my Equinox Half Marathon time, and tackling the Alaska Endurance Trail Race. Racing is my anchor, providing structure and motivation, and I'm an advocate for pushing boundaries and embracing diverse challenges. I am missing bits from the muscular, nervous, and circulatory systems in my leg and wear more compression garments than most could believe on both of my legs; my body brings a whole different level of complexity to triathlon training and racing, but here I am. I am incredibly grateful for how far I’ve come and the support I’ve received. I encourage others to join in, believing that the slowest finisher in a race is ahead of those sitting on the couch. With fellow Fairbanks local Suzanne Bassett, we formed the team Northern Attitudes to celebrate the uniqueness of the northerly latitudes and help promote Race Across Alaska in interior and Northern Alaska. Any attitude at all is welcome; we’ll find a way to make it positive and forward-focused. 

Heidi Hatcher

Gakona, Alaska

I’m excited to return for another year in the Race Across Alaska! I’m a mom of two little boys who’ll be turning 2 and 4 this winter. I’m also a full-time wildlife biologist, spending far too much time at a computer or sitting still in a plane during the winter months. Aerial wildlife surveys are fun, but they are not active! Each winter the Race Across Alaska is the extra motivation I need to get outside and move after work, after the kids are in bed, and on the weekends; all the better if I can get them out there with me! I also have an amazing dog who goes along for most of my miles! I live rurally, so virtually all my miles are outside. 

 

Fiona Taylor

Snoqualmie, Washington

Hello athletes! I am super excited and thankful to get to be an ambassador again this year! 
I am from Anchorage, AK and currently live in Snoqualmie WA. I bike, run, walk, cross country ski, and hike and get outdoors as much as I can.
I love seeing everyone’s stories and great achievements during this wonderful event. 
I love all of the positivity and encouragement that is shared throughout the race. 
I feel like I’ve made so many new friends and I am consistently impressed, awed and inspired by all of the participants.
I hope to bring in racers from not just my area but many other states and places.

 

Paul Kilgore

Calcium, New York

I am a retired US Army Disabled Veteran who has been riding and racing recumbent trikes since 2019! This will be my third
year riding in the RAAWC and 2nd year as an ambassador! I ride and race with the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Project Echelon and Base Adaptive Teams. I ride my recumbent trikes indoors, road, gravel and off road. My next off road trip is later this month going to Bentonville AR with the PVAR Team attending the Bentonville Paracycling Off Road Camp. I raced earlier this Summer at the Adaptive Sports Center Adaptive Off Road World Championships were I won the recumbent class for non-assisted foot pedaled trikes. I ride and race several other event throughout the year. I love spreading the joy of adaptive cycling with others. I competed in my first ever National Senior Games this Summer and won two gold medals in my age category 5 & 10 km TTs. I took two Silver Medals this year in the VA Golden Age Games in 5 & 20 km TTs as well. I placed third in the Croatan Buck 50 gravel race this year for adaptive racers. I also competed and podiumed at the Swamp Classic, SE Valor Games and TN Paracycling Open earlier this year as well. Cycling is my go to sport! 

 

Candace Leroux

Palmer, Alaska

This will be my third year, second as an ambassador. I am a mom to an active 14 year old, wife, and small business owner. I love all outdoor activities although I’m mediocre at most. My winter goals are to get better at skate skiing, cross country skiing, ice skating, and downhill skiing. I look forward to meeting more adventure buddies and exploring more of Alaska. The Race Across Alaska is so special to me because it keeps me accountable through the dark cold winter months. It allows me to have a group of friends all working towards our own goals but who cheer each other on and hold each other accountable.

 

Carey Quiring

Seward, Alaska

This will be my 4th year participating in Race Across Alaska! 2nd year as an ambassador! I like hiking and running. I am hoping to complete a 100 mile race next year. I have enjoyed getting people involved in the Race Across Alaska. Winter in Alaska is hard but getting outside with friends makes it better!
I have completed the Resurrection Pass Ultra Races 50 mile x2, Little Su 50k and the Denali 100k. I’m currently in search of a 100 mile race. #raceacrossalaska will help keep me motivated to keep moving through those tough winter months while enjoying retirement!

 

Lauri Lingafelt

Soldotna, Alaska

I am excited to have the opportunity to be an ambassador for RAAWC. Biking is my favorite sport, but I also hike, snowshoe, ski, and whatever it takes to be outside. These activities are enjoyed best with the company of my pup and great friends. I live on the Kenai Peninsula, looking forward to making it a challenge for myself and friends to see what kind of new trails we can hit for 2023-24, helping us all meet our RAAWC goals. Looking forward to reading about journeys from all over the US! My goal is to only count outdoor miles!

 

Gianna McCune

Valdez, Alaska

 I am a school counselor by day, endurance junkie by night (and a fierce Mama)! I have been doing triathlons for a long time, BUT have caught the Ironman bug in the last few years. My longest distances to date are the Alaska Ironman and the Escape from Alcatraz. I LOVE our Alaskan races and have completed numerous Gold Nugget races, half-marathons, the Tri-Flake Winter Triathlon and the Hammerman Triathlon. Being an Alaskan athlete is the best... NOTHING HOLDS US BACK! I am never the front of the pack, but I NEVER give up! I'm looking forward to training for Ironman Penticton and Oregon 70.3 in 2024. I am a member of the Cupcake Cartel and Blueseventy racing. I am excited to encourage all members of the Race Across Alaska challenge. The support, enthusiasm and love of movement is motivating and fun! Being involved in with this race has been the highlight of my winter months. I'm looking forward to a winter full of challenges and smiles!

 

Jill Hovan

South Berwick, Maine

This is my second year as an ambassador for RAAWC. I live in Maine mostly but spend 3 months every year working in Fairbanks. I am an extremely proud member of an all women’s multi sports group called SheCoasters. We support, push, motivate, and elevate each other. When the weather permits (May-Octoberish), I swim with my fellow Pondmaids at a local pond. The best days of my week start with a swim at the pond with the ladies. Being active is a huge part of my life and the RAAWC has become a great way to keep active during the more challenging winter months. It was a game changer for me. After working 10 hour days, the last thing I wanted to do was go to the gym in the cold and dark..this challenge got me there..and also to the pool! I am excited to share this race experience with others so they can stay motivated this winter! It is also a great way to stay connected to people. Last year our team, Leave it to Beavers, had members in AK, ME, NH, and CA. I am excited for this years race and look forward to finding new paths to check off those miles.

 

Dennis Schroeder

Sheboygan, Wisconsin

I am currently semi retired, I have worked in surgical services at Sheboygan Medical center for the past 12 years. I enjoy, hiking, backpacking, biking, downhill skiing and Nordic skiing. This past summer I hiked the San Juan hut system in Southwest Colorado. I am currently training to hike the c2c (hike across England) followed by hiking the via Alpina trail through Switzerland. I am also member the the Sheboygan Striders Running club. The RAAWC means the ability to stay active throughout the winter solstice and meeting strangers from hopefully 50 states and by the end of the winter solstice becoming friends.

The 2024 Race Across Alaska logo is also from Dennis' northern lights photo shared with our private facebook group during the 2023 RAAWC. 

Jena Petersen

Seward, Alaska

My name is Jena Petersen, I'm a wife and mother of two teenagers and I work in real estate in Seward! I love to spend time outdoors. In the summer I'm usually hiking with my two Chesapeake Bay Retrievers (and my best friend). In the winter my favorite activity is cross country skiing. This last year I really got back into moving mostly inspired by doing my first RAAWC! I have completed the Pink Cheeks Tri several times, Lost Lake run a few times and Mt. Marathon Race a couple of times. I want to inspire other people like me to know that most of the time the hardest part is getting off the couch and putting on your shoes. Movement can be inside or outside and it doesn't matter how fast, but your mind and body will thank you in the long run. 

 

Yvonne Oren

Kenai, Alaska

I'm Yvonne and I'm 53. I live in Kenai. This is my 4th year doing the RAAC. I love this challenge. It has helped me stay active, motivated, and even rehabilitated over the winter months. I've had injuries over the years but using this challenge to keep focused on physical movement helped me to recover faster and stronger. Reaching the goals I set for myself just feels amazing and seeing everyone else's journeys makes me so happy and encouraged.

 

Marshall Carlyle

Palmer, Alaska

My name is Marshall Carlyle, my family and I did our first RAAWC in 2023. The '23 virtual race really helped keep me motivated with staying active and jump started my training for the Fairbanks Sourdough Triathlon. I am now closing in on my last two weeks of training for Ironman California! Race Across Alaska really motivated my family and me to enjoy more time outside with activities such as walking, jogging, snowshoeing, and my boys teaching me XC skiing. We also would enjoy family bike rides on our trainers and trips to the pool to get our distances completed. RAAWC '24 will again be my kickstart to the 2024 race season where I will be competing in a few more triathlon's and my first ultra marathon as a member of Team Zoot. I look forward to getting out and getting my miles with my family through a wide range of activities again as I prepare for the 2024 race season. I hope that I can help encourage others to participate and motivate them to be active for fun, for health, and for the joy it brings us!

 

Suzanne Bassett

North Pole, Alaska

I grew up in an outdoorsy Wyoming family and moved up to Alaska 10+ years ago. This is my second year with Race Across Alaska and I'm excited to be an ambassador this year to try to increase interest in the Northern Interior region of Alaska. This event motivated me to increase my winter activities last year: walking, running, skiing, and even ice skating. The accountability and encouragement of the group helped me find the energy for "at least a mile a day". This built the foundation for my first summer of amateur triathlons (several sprint races and swimming for relays) and introduction to trail running (Alaska Endurance Trail Run and hiking the Equinox Marathon). I love getting outside with my wife and our two boys, and frequently use exercise as a means to catch up with friends. Fellow Ambassador Carrie Plant and I formed the team Northern Attitudes to celebrate the uniqueness of the northerly latitudes and help promote Race Across Alaska in interior and Northern Alaska. Any attitude at all is welcome; we'll find a way to make it positive and forward-focused. This year my goal is to do the Alaska Long Trail 500 miles from Seward to Fairbanks and I also want to get into the sport of snowshoeing. 

 

Mareta Weed

Juneau, Alaska

I’m a lifelong Alaskan who has resided in Juneau for the last 22 years. Most days you can find me hiking, running, paddling or just taking a stroll through the woods, usually with my dog in tow. This past summer, I developed a heart issue that kept me sedentary, preventing me from accomplishing many of the goals I set up for myself. Thankfully, I am on the mend and am ready for some adventure. I have been participating in RAAWC since 2020. I find that the challenge helps me work through the winter blahs and am looking forward to helping motivate others. 

 

Robyn Langlie

Anchorage, Alaska

Hi! I’m Robyn! Last year was my first RAAWC and it was huge for keeping me on track for my recovery after breaking both of my legs. Unfortunately, I didn’t make my goal as I started having trouble again and ended up with a Total Knee Replacement. However I credit all the miles I did with making my recovery easier and at 3.5 months post replacement I participated in The Fireweed 200 bike race as a relay member, doing over 40 miles that day. Now that I’m bionic, WATCH OUT!!! I’m back and raring to get back into training for next summer’s bike races, hiking, backpacking, hunting and my favorite fall event the Alyeska Climbathon. 

 

Emma Corby

Eagle River, Alaska

Hi! My name is Emma, and while I swam in college, I have learned to love running around Alaska more than anything else - even in the snow. I just ran my first 50 mile ultra and am already looking for my next one! This is my second year doing Race Across Alaska; I love how it motivates and encourages us all to get outside or get our bodies moving. So excited to hear about everybody’s miles!

 

Jessica Primanzon

Sterling, Virginia

Hi all! This will be my third year doing Race Across Alaska and I can’t wait to get started. I started cycling in 2019 and it’s my favorite thing. I’m the poster child for if I can do it, anyone can do it. I’m currently training for Face of America in Spring 2024 and Bike to the Beach in the Summer. I’m also a Trail Patrol volunteer on the WO & D Trail in Virginia and mom of two sassy teens.

 

Kenyon DePriest

Palmer, Alaska

My name is Kenyon DePriest. I am from Palmer, Alaska. Being born and raised in Alaska, I enjoy a variety of outdoor athletic activities, including mountain biking, trail running, hiking, skiing, and snow machining. I love to participate in Race Across Alaska because it helps me meet my fitness goals throughout the winter and it offers friendly competition with friends and family who also participate.

Rick Zwetsch

Holland, Michigan

Hi everyone...I'm Rick Zwetsch! I'm 66 years old and live in beautiful Holland, MI. I rode 2,218 virtual bike miles last winter in my first RAAWC. I'm a recovering ultra-cyclist having completed several 24+ hour bike races both virtual and IRL over the past 4 years. I've also logged 56,000+ miles on Zwift so when I was first introduced to RAAWC - I thought what a great way to keep focused through the long, dark, cloudy, cold winter months here in Michigan, enjoy some friendly competition with other RAAWC athletes in all different sports AND support Alaska Trails as they work to develop The Alaska Long Trail. This is just totally AWESOME! I'm currently on Day 283 of my self-imposed #Workout365 Challenge so the 2023/24 RAAWC will be the cherry on top of a solid 2023 and a strong kickstart to 2024! CHEERZ to you all and I look forward to seeing everyone log some strong miles staying active during the winter months and supporting a great organization!

Courtney Allred

Sitka, Alaska

Hello, I am excited to be selected as a RAAWC Ambassador. I currently reside in Sitka, Alaska with my husband and our 2 boys. This will be my 3rd year participating. After my first year I was hooked and have since made it a family affair as we all joined in last year. We hope to extend into our extended families this year. I love the Race Across Alaska and getting my family to stay active during the winter, even when we can't go always go outside. I have always had the goal of completing a triathlon and can't wait to train while meeting my mileage goal this winter. Look forward to seeing you on the trail, whether virtually or in person. 

Catriona Reynolds
Homer, Alaska

Hi fellow winter recreation enthusiasts! I loved being involved in RAAWC last year, and particularly enjoyed being part of Team K-Bay. When I learned that Michael was unable to lead a Kachemak Bay based team this year I pulled together Team Cycle Logical.
I love to fat bike, classic ski, snowshoe, and hike. If this was a summer challenge I would also be gravel biking, mountain biking, and kayaking. I am a co-owner of Cycle Logical - a bike and ski shop - but it's primarily my spouse, Derek, and staff that actually run the shop. Meanwhile I work at HEA so we enjoy union health and retirement benefits (thank you IBEW)!

The Homer area is a fantastic place to enjoy this challenge - three gorgeous nordic ski areas; the Diamond Creek Mountain Bike Trails and the whole Snomad groomed snow machine trail system (aka Caribou Lake - but it's so much more than that) for fatbiking, skiing, and snowshoeing; beaches galore for running, hiking, biking; and quite often clear pavement in town for running, walking, and biking. If the weather is right we can even get ice-skate miles in on Beluga Lake.

Team Cycle Logical will be sharing area opportunities for group activities. If you are looking for a change of scenery, come and log some miles with us!

Photo is near Caribou Lake during last year's challenge - this year I am determined to complete the Long Trail distance!

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