This year, the famous Oosik Ski Race is going virtual, giving Nordic skiers an opportunity to participate anywhere in the world, with the same fun the Talkeetna race provides every March.
Due to the pandemic, this year's race won't be held in person in Talkeetna. But that doesn't mean the spirit of the Oosik won't take place, as the race is going virtual.
Those wanting to participate in the Oosik can ski a 25K or 50K route anywhere in the world, according to the Denali Nordic Ski Club, the organization that hosts the event. Participants can register for the race at the club's web site or through the app Webscorer. The entry fee is $30, which supports the ski club and their efforts to provide great trails in the Susitna Valley. You also receive a custom designed face buff with a walrus face on it, and are entered to win many prizes donated by Talkeetna businesses. After you complete your 25K or 50K race, you simply enter your time in the app.
Instead of a one-day event, this year, the virtual event is open now through March 31. People can ski the necessary kilometers in one outing, or over the course of several days to accumulate the total. The point is to get out and ski!
This year, special prizes will be given out as well. They include the oldest person to ski in the 50K, the youngest person to ski in the 25K, best costume (send in your photo or post it on our Oosik Facebook or Instagram pages, the person who skis a 25K and/or 50K the furthest from Talkeetna, and the person who skis using wooden skis, bamboo poles and wears woolen clothes.
While you can ski anywhere as part of the 2021 Oosik, the Talkeetna area is the ideal place to do it on your own and practice social distancing. The many ski trails in Talkeetna are in ideal conditions right now, and longer and warmer days makes Talkeetna the perfect place to spend a weekend. In addition to cross-country skiing, Talkeetna is a winter wonderland for skiers and fat tire bikers as well.