Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pictures from 2004 - Eureka to Talkeetna

Here are some random pictures from the beginning and end of the 2004 Eureka to Talkeetna race.  This was the year Gordy Vernon and Thai Verzone reminded us that subterfuge, strategy and innovation will often beat pure endurance in the Classic.  These two veterans schooled everyone by coming from behind and winning the race.  They carried a huge raft but eventually used it to float the entire Talkeetna Canyon while everyone else had to portage around it through thick brush.

Gordy and Thai told nobody about their plans and also brought a large cooler of free beer to the starting line for other people to take.  After months of shaving 1/100th's of an ounce off their packs, several people opted to calm their nerves with some brew and actually carried some of the beer in their packs.  Whether the cost/benefit ratio favored this decision is anyone's guess.  What we do know is that Gordy and Thai knew exactly what they were doing.  

Erin McKittrick on the left in purple with Bret Higman just behind her.  Bob Schnell just to the right of them in the blue hat.  Jason Geck in the center, Butch Allen, Jim McDonough and Dick Griffith on the right. 

Thai Verzone on the left, Jim Lapkass just to the right and Michael Martin in the red coat. 

Thai and Gordy bringing out the cooler of beer to the starting line. 

And they're off!  Roman and Cody Roman Dial on bicycles. At 17 years old, Cody Roman was and still is the youngest person to finish the Classic. 

Gordy and Thai carry their raft to the finish line in Talkeetna as they win the race. 

John Pepe and Rob Kehrer happy to be in Talkeetna. 

Hans and Anna Neidig greet John with a nice cold beer. 

1 comment:

  1. Gordy and Thai met during the Wilderness Classic across the Kenai, Hope to Homer 1997.

    They remain active and enthusiastic adventure parties over a dozen years later.