Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic
2001 Race Report and Results
The superhuman android boys, Steve and Rocky Riefenstuhl set a new course record of 53 hours and 49 minutes. Roman Dial came in second. Chad Taylor, Kevin Armstrong and Doug Woody came in third, and Dick Griffith and Donna Klecka finished in time for the Roast.
It was a wildly unusual year. It had been raining for weeks prior to the start, and just getting to the start was an ordeal. There were a series of impressive washouts on the Nabesna road. My top heavy camper swayed to such a degree on the first of the washout crossings, that Dick Griffith was considering calling Child Protective Services on me since my kids were in the camper during the crossing. They pretty much know how to swim, but the windows in the camper are fairly small (hard to get out).
Those few who made it to the start were pretty daunted by the conditions. We sent up one of those hardy Riefenstuhls in a plane with a digital camera to photograph the Nabesna and Jack Creek, and when he returned, we all gathered in the Devil's Mountain Lodge to view the results. We decided to wait till morning and see how things were. Morning wasn't much better, with a steady drizzle and grey skies. We decided to go anyway. After all, it's the AMWC. By the actual start time, there were only 15 starters. By the time I said "Let's go" there were 13. By the time we blew up boats, there were only 12 going on. Wow.
Things got progressively better, but what a race. Of the 13 actual starters, 8 finished. (Actually a slightly better-than-sometimes ratio.) No bears ate boats (like 2000). The banquet was wonderful. For the 20th running of the AMWC to be faced with all this stuff up front, it turned out that we had a great time joining with the McCarthy folks (especially Natalie and Kelly Bay) in "roasting Dick". The McCarthy Lodge served up a tremendous spread, and the case of champagne special-ordered for the event didn't hurt. Roman Dial, Peggy, and kids drove all the way from Anchorage for the event.
Roman, Donna Klecka, Claire LeClaire and I, among others, told lots of stories about Dick, some of them true. For 2002 there will be an ABSOLUTE LIMIT of 30 racers. So, enclosed you will find a registration form and some photos of the race. Due to the very limited field, the registrations from the 2001 race did not quite cover expenses. This year again, the cost of the color enclosures in this packet is not taken from race proceeds (there weren't any). So Merry Christmas from me to the race. I still don't think we need to change anything we are doing, (in terms of $ or organization), I just can't send a partial refund like usual to those who paid the entry fee. Maybe this year'll be different.
Keep in mind that this is the last ofthe 3 year cycle. We will be moving on from the Wrangells next year. I will be gone for a while this summer, so Dick Griffith has generously agreed to co-organize. Please note that entries and fees should go to his address, which is listed on the entry form.
p.s. don't take this personally, but if you don't respond to this letter, with at least a "yeah, I'm here", this is the last announcement you'll receive. Thanks to all of you for everything. I hope to see you in Nabesna..
Steve Reifenstuhl - 2 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes
Roman Dial - 2 days, 13 hours and 14 minutes
Chad Taylor - 3 days, 16 hours and 42 minutes
Dick Griffith - exact time unavailable but they finished about 6:45 p.m. Saturday