Nineteen people have participated so for in the Denali State Bank “Virtual” Sonot Kkaazoot Nordic ski race, which is scheduled to run March 28.

This year’s race, because of social distance restrictions caused by the coronoavirus pandemic, involves participants skiing on their own on the Sonot Kkaazoot’s 20-, 40- or 50-kilometer course. Participants, if they can choose, can ski two or more of the distances.

Proceeds go to grooming efforts at the Birch Hill Recreation Area and Chena River sections of the race, which features 20-, 40- and 50-kilometer courses.

Registration is available at

Acording to a news release on the race’s website (, participants, if they’re struggling financially because of the coronavirus, can go ahead and just ski.

If skiers are able to, they’re asked to donate to the Sonot or Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks trails fund.

Donations can be made at

Tom Helmers, NSCF head groomer, said in a grooming report on the news release, “Bottom line is the Trail Fund is at its lowest amount.

“The Board of the Directors of the ski club has asked all programs, including Grooming to watch expense till this virus thing is straightened out.

“Word on the street is a fair number of skiers are planning to ski the Virtual Sonot Saturday (today), so my plan is to do a single pass of the entire trail system in the morning, starting with the White Bear (trails).

“The forecast is calling for some amount of snow pretty much every day for the next week to 10 days.”

Among those who have participated so far in the “Virtual” Sonot Kkaazoot, 16 have maneuvered the 20K course, while one has finished the 40K course and two have completed the Sonot’s 50K layout.

Byron Broda was the first finisher of the 50K course in 4 hours, 33 minutes and 47 seconds.

Eric Troyer skied with a classic technique and finished the Sonot’s longest course in 5:32:25. He also spotted a coyote while he was skiing.

Jim Gower moved over the 40K course in 3:33:02.

Jim Gower leads the 20K standings at 1:17:11. Bill Husby is second at 1:26:13, and Kieran and Max Kaufman combined for third place in 1:35:00.

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