The Denali State Bank “Virtual” Sonot Kkaazoot Nordic ski race has attracted 49 participants since it started March 18.

The real Sonot Kkaazoot was canceled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s traditionally one of the top annual events for the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks and it features 20-, 40- and 50-kilometer courses.

This year’s Sonot allows each participant to ski the course of their choice, or two or all three courses. Participants record their distances and times.

The “Virtual” Sonot runs through Saturday.

Traditionally, the race starts downtown on the Chena River. The start for the ‘Virtual’ Sonot was moved to the Birch Hill Recreation Area because the river was deemed unsafe Friday due to thin ice in sections caused by recent warm weather in the Interior.

Sven Grage, West Valley High School’s girls soccer head coach, leads the ‘Virtual’ standings for the 50K with an effort of 4 hours, 26 minutes and 41 seconds.

Byron Broda, who was the first person to ski the “Virtual” 50K, holds second place at 4:33:47 and Bill Husby, in 4:48:34, is in third place among the long race’s eight participants.

Donovan Granger, at 3:31:56, is atop the 40K standings. 

Bruce Jamieson is second (3:33:02) and Laura Grage, with an effort of 3:40:37, is third among the six  skiers who have participated in the 40K.

The 20K has had 29 participants so far, and Jim Gower leads the group at 1:17:11.

Bill Husby is second at 1:26:13 and Anna Rix holds third place at 1:34:14.

The race standings also feature a category for creative route, creative distance or creative team.

Frank Soos, who’s among the creative participants so far, did a 30-plus ski of Birch Hill. 

Three masters swimmers — Susan Sugai, Norma Haubenstock and Joanna Fox — for the Stingray Swim Team — did a 50K relay for ‘Virtual’ Sonot.

The quartet of Max Kaufman, Owen W. Hanley, Steve Taylor and Erik Schoen combined for a 26.6K effort of 1:59:00. 

Taylor, though, mostly skied for 20K and Hanley, according to a news release on the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks website (, skied extra kilometers for good measure.

Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports