2015 Chatanika Challenge cancelled

The 2015 Chatanika Challenge is cancelled.

Due to open water and other poor trail conditions, low sign up numbers and time running short we are forced to cancel this years race.

We will have the Valley Funale on March 28th and will post available race lengths closer to the day. All depends once again on trail conditions.

Thank you for your understanding.

Stacy Snyder
TRDMA President

Thank-yous, sponsors, races – let’s get going!

The Yukon Quest has come and gone through town — many thanks to the long list of TRDMA volunteers who have helped getting all 16 quest finishers safely across the road crossing east of Two Rivers. So a shoutout to Edie for coordinating (until the last minute before she left town), Amanda, Chase, Chris, Christian (who never was called out, even though he wanted to!), Darlene, Derek, Jeremy, Judy, Liz, Riley, Rob, Shaynee and anyone I may be forgetting here, as well as the Two Rivers Checkpoint (Becky Alexander) for donating the leftover straw to us and Bart to go out and get it on short notice.

We also welcome new sponsors. We are very very grateful to Randy and D’Ann Chappel for their extremely generous donation (which includes, but goes far beyond, a bib sponsorship), and to our second gold-level sponsors, Golden Heart Veterinary Services. Valley Hoe, Frisky Pups Bed and Breakfast, Kim & Harry Douglas, and Dawn Beckwell join our bib sponsors, bringing the total up to 18 19Many thanks to all of you!

And there is more: Donations and sponsorships for prizes for our upcoming 2015 Chatanika Challenge 100 and 200 mile races:

  • RES Metal Works has offered to make and donate trophies
  • Phoenix Rising Body & Paint is sponsoring a entry fee refund drawing: One finisher of the 100 mile and of the 200 mile race, respectively, will get will each be awarded their race entry fee in full (on top of any other earnings). The name of the lucky mushers will be randomly drawn at the Finish Banquet and the awardee must be present to win
  • … and there will be more, including a hand-made knitted hat

Which brings me to the last point: Registrations are open! Our trail crew is hard at work laying out an interesting, new and challenging race trail. Our volunteers are getting organized — let’s get racing! For all inquiries, don’t hesitate to email us at info@trdma.org.


Bib sponsor recognition

The Two Rivers 200 (and 100) mile race, the main event of our racing season, is only 5 weeks away, and thanks to the generosity of many businesses (and individuals!) we’ll finally be able to replace our old set of racing bibs!

Our gratitude goes to the following bib sponsors, truly a list of engaged and supportive small and/or local businesses and groups.

No Mountain Software
Alaska Rubber & Rigging
Phoenix Rising Body & Paint
Alaska Line Builders
Standing Bear Creations
The Tree King
Nicolle Hendrix (volunteer)
Boreal Peonies
Pleasant Valley Store
Trailside Mail
Tailspin Media
Howling Downs Peonies
Sunrise Kennel
and Carpenters Local 1243

Would you like to join your name to the list? There are 29 bibs still available to sponsor to reach our goal. Personal bib sponsorships are also gladly accepted and go to our new logo design and other set up fees.

Bib sponsorships are $100, and we have a full page of information about all our sponsorship levels. Or directly fill in the form below and get redirected to PayPal for payment (credit/debit cards accepted — you don’t need a PayPal account).

Thank you all so much for your support!

Become a bib sponsor and help us renew our aging race bibs!

Your personal name (required)

If you are a business, the name of your business as you want it appear on the bib

Email address to contact you (required)

After submitting this form, the page will redirect you to PayPal for payment of the $100 sponsorship. We thank you for your support!

Two Rivers 200 and 100 miles / Chatanika Challenge: Watch this space!

Our race planning and trail teams are hard at work preparing for the 2015 Chatanika Challenge dog sled races. This site will be updated shortly to provide you with more information, but for the moment, here is what we can tell you:
  • The race dates remain as announced, March 13-15, 2015, with a required bib draw and mushers’ meeting on Thursday March 12.
  • There will be a 200 mile and a 100 mile class.
  • The race will run through the same areas as in previous years — from the Chatanika valley over to the Two Rivers trail system and the Chena River State Recreation Area, ending at the Pleasant Valley store.
  • However, because of the increased logging activity and the overall bad state of some of our trails caused by the weather of the last two years, we have been looking at some changed and entirely new sections, to ensure we can offer all our racers an interesting event over a full 200 miles. As a consequence, checkpoint locations and even the exact start location are still being decided upon.
  • Sign-up will be entirely online, opening on Sunday February 8 at noon Alaska time.
  • Entries will be limited to 25 in the 200 mile class and 15 in the 100 mile class. If we receive more entries, available race slots will be filled on a first-come basis (complete & paid-up entries only) and the remaining applicants will be placed on a waiting list. This limitation is rather conservative, and if we find we have more space than expected we may revise the limit.
  • We will need volunteers to staff checkpoints, help with the start and general logistics. If you are available on the race weekend or shortly before, please leave a message here or on our Facebook page.
All other information will be provided in a few days — we’re working hard on hammering out the details. So watch this space – the race is on!


Happy New Year: Solstice 50/100 in 3…2…1… days

A very happy, inspiring and beneficial new year 2015 to all our members, supporters and friends!

Our 2014/15  is finally getting started tomorrow, January 2, 2015, with our Solstice 50/100 race, rescheduled from the original date 2 weeks ago. And we have to hurry — the days are already getting longer. Our trail crew has put it tireless work to assemble a full 100 mile trail (50 out, 50 back), starting at the Pleasant Valley Store, mile 23 Chena Hot Springs Road. We still have race slots available, so come along on raceday and sign up (between 8 am and 9 am)!

All information as well as race updates on this year’s Solstice race page.

Sponsors, sponsors, sponsors… and updates

It’s been snowing the last two days, and the decision about this year’s Solstice race will be taken shortly. Until this week, the outlook was very bleak! Stay posted.

Meanwhile, the season is underway. A record 342 dogs (and 4 cats) were vaccinated against rabies (full report to follow), trails are being inspected and repaired after this destructively wet summer, and our board has been busily asking for sponsors.

We’re particularly happy to welcome back our local mushing supplies store, Cold Spot Feeds, who have been a great support to our club over many years.

Cold Spot logo 4 CMYKWe’ve also had some great response to our new for bib sponsorships and will publish the list shortly. Want to become a sponsor? Don’t know what a bib sponsorship is? See our sponsorship flyer!

Our you could come to our December meeting, tonight (Wed. Dec 3) at 7 pm at the Two Rivers Lodge.

2014 Rabies Vaccination Clinic

As in previous years, the TRDMA is orgnaising a rabies vaccination clinic run by Dr. Jeanne Olson of Raven Veterinary Clinic, North Pole. It will take place on Saturday. November 15, 2014 from 11 am to 3 pm at the Two Rivers Community Center (behind the Pleasant Valley Store, milepost 23). You can get your pet or whole kennel vaccinated for the low cost of $10 per dog or $15 per cat (prices subject to change based on the price of the vaccine). Payment by cash or check, please. (There is an ATM at the Laudromat at mile 24 CHSR available.)

To help getting everyone served without long waiting times, please pre-register and bring a kennel animal list. Here is how it works:

Step 1

Complete the form below (or go to the form on a new page).

Step 2

Download the animal list form, print it out at home, complete it, and bring it along. (We will have forms on hand during the event.)

Step 3

Show up with your whole gang!


2014 summer updates: PayPal, meetings

We are making upgrades over the summer. Temporarily, PayPal is not available, and we’re looking into the best way to bring electronic payments back for the next season.

Meanwhile, the next summer volunteer planning meeting is taking place Wednesday June 18th, 7 pm @ Two Rivers Lodge.

2014 General meeting and board election: please read!

The TRDMA May meeting took place Monday May 5, 2014. According to our by-laws, this is the meeting where we hold yearly board elections. This post is an informal version of the meeting minutes.

The short message is: Both the outgoing and the incoming board are extremely worried about the low number of volunteers, both for events and to sit on the board. The TRDMA can only be what the community makes of it, and we’ve operated for too long with very limited resources. If the situation doesn’t improve, the future for our local races looks bad.

Meeting report

The meeting started at 7 pm at the Two Rivers School

Becky Cummings
Chris Waigl
Greg Stoddard
Jack Studer
Jason Weitzel
Sandra Kramps
Stacy Snyder
Stephanie Ehlenfeldt

Bill McKee (personal reasons)
Edie Forest (traveling)

The situation of the club


  • Our events attract considerable numbers of participants.
  • We are getting compliments for the quality of our trail work and friendliness.
  • Last year the monthly meeting were all in all better attended than the two previous years.
  • We have been attracting some new volunteers, and checkpoint management and sponsorships have improved.
  • The trail team, despite the ugly November storm that downed so many trees and the loss of the long-standing trail boss, has being going very strong.


  • We don’t have enough volunteers to fill all the roles that are needed to put on a race.
  • There are in particular not enough members interested in filling board positions.
  • We have too few long-standing volunteers. At the moment, we are losing long-standing volunteers.
  • New volunteers aren’t feeling very welcome. They aren’t trained properly and tend to burn out too quickly.
  • The few long-standing volunteers tend to get over-committed and work themselves into a state of exhausted exhaustion during events.
  • We don’t have the capacity to plan ahead to develop deeper relationships with sponsors, renew bibs, or organize GPS tracking, or trail mapping, or many other useful things.
  • We are not currently attracting as volunteers the many young mushers in the community. In part, this is because they want to run the races.

The absence of board candidates was of particular concern to the outgoing board. For this reason, the outgoing board decided that if it was not possible to elect a board in the May meeting, the club would be dissolved by June 1.

Board elections

In the discussion preceding board elections, everyone present agreed that they would be available as volunteers and to train new volunteers, if work and personal commitments allowed.

Stephanie offered to assist the future secretary. She will organize the rabies clinic as in the previous years, and suggested we should re-visit the idea of a (monthly?) newsletter (on paper and mailed to members), which she would help with.
Edie (absent) passed on the note via Stephanie that she would take on the role of volunteer coordinator. This was very warmly welcomed as such a role could help alleviate many of the issues surrounding volunteer recruitment and retention.
Chris also offered to continue assisting the future secretary. She isn’t a candidate for the office, as she needs to concentrate on the web site maintenance. She offered to be a race manager for the Chatanika Challenge race, ideally together with a coordinating team.

There was discussion about whether it was preferable to give the community a jolt by dissolving the club, maybe freeing the path for a completely new group of people to become active, or by trying to build on what we currently have.

Eventually a motion was made, to vote for new board members for the season 2014/2015.

President: Stacy
Vice president: Becky
Treasurer: Greg
Secretary: still open
Member at large: still open

This result means that the club is going on for the time being.

Following the election we also discussed the idea that we should be putting on *only* the events that we can adequately staff with volunteers, even taking the risk that maybe we would cancel a big race if necessary.

Discussion following the election

Paperwork — Chris and Sandra will take care of filing the biennial report with the State of Alaska (EDITOR’S NOTE: This has happened.)
Paperwork — Stacy, Becky and Scott Chesney will get together about other official paperwork that is outstanding. (EDITOR’S NOTE: This has been initiated since the meeting.)
Paperwork — Becky and Greg need to get together to get Greg the signature authority. Becky should keep hers so that two people are authorized to sign checks and can relay each other.

Thank-you notes: Bill is producing picture frames. Chris to look for the club’s letters from previous years. Stacy to send them out.

The time of the monthly meeting (Monday night) is not working for a few people. We can move it.

We also decided, that a membership sign-up should include from now on some kind of volunteer commitment. We will also post on our website, that we are in need of more volunteers, in order to be able to organize races.

The meeting was concluded by 9 pm.

2014 Valley Funale results

Our season-end event, the Valley Funale, took place yesterday, March 29th, at the Pleasant Valley store. With an Easter egg hunt and community potluck, this is a nice fun event, with some adult races (10 dogs/20 miles and 6 dogs/10 miles) and kids races (1 dog, on a loop behind the Pleasant Valley Store). Results below!

10 dogs/20 mile

6 dogs/10 mile

Kids’ races