As KMXT told you on Thursday, Kodiak’s annual Eco Challenge race been cancelled for the first time in its 12-year history. The Eco Challenge was a 40-mile race across Kodiak’s wilderness that required biking, hiking, running, rafting and orienteering skills to complete.
Kodiak Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer Diana Honings said the Eco Challenge was cancelled due to a lack of personnel at the base’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation office, and there are no funds to hire interns to help out.
The MWR office is closing the Bear Valley Golf Course after this year also because of budget reasons.
Shanna Moeder, who competed on two winning teams, including last year’s had mixed emotions about the Eco Challenge ending.
“It’s a little sad. And I know when I was talking with some friends who told me the news to start with – they didn’t seem too happy. Everybody is pretty bummed about. But then I think that some people who done well in the past, we felt a little relieved about it.”
She said that was because of not only the pressure of defending the title, but also because of the sheer difficulty of the six-hour race.
“Because we don’t have to go out and try to get that first place again, or chase that team that is in first place. It’s a tough race. You have to be prepared for it. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of work. And, I don’t know, maybe I’m feeling a little lazy this year.”
Moeder said the single toughest challenge she’s run up against in her two races was fording the American River carrying her bicycle, but a climb last year was also daunting.
“One of the things last year which I will never forget, is we had to run out on that geo-block out to Summit Lake. And when we got there, we felt pretty beat, like ‘ugh, that was a lot of work.’ And they look at us, and we’re like, ‘Okay, now what do we do.’ And they’re like, ‘You run around the lake.’ And I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ It’s pretty exhausting. But you carry your fuel and you’ve got three other teammates that just cheer you along when you need those moments when you hit your wall and they’ve got their second wind. It’s all about teamwork, the entire time.”
On a side-note relating to outdoor race challenges, Moeder wasn’t able to compete in KMXT’s Kodiak Bear Crawl over the weekend, but at the Dig Afognak camp Saturday, she did set up a miniature obstacle course for the kids there.