Unfortunately, due to current unsafe conditions on the trail, and due to the lack of certainty that conditions will change in the next two weeks preceding the scheduled start of the 2016 Knik 100 and Knik 200 races, we feel it’s in the best interest of safety to cancel both races.
We have looked at many factors and considered several options. Due to scheduling conflicts with other races on their traditional dates, and scheduling conflicts among Knik race volunteers with alternate dates, we have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we must cancel this year’s races.
In 2015 we moved the Knik 200 race temporarily to Willow so that teams needing to qualify for Iditarod or Yukon Quest could do so. However, the relocation was intended to only be temporary because of the Knik’s history. Keeping the race in Knik is important to us. Our hope is that trail conditions will improve across Alaska and other races can go on as scheduled, including other qualifying races.
Because we have a number of teams travelling great distances to race in the Knik 100 and 200, we have an obligation to give them sufficient notice to make other arrangements. This would be an easier decision on our part if we had a crystal ball and knew with absolute certainty that Knik Lake would be safe enough to support 50 dog trucks and their 12-dog teams, mushers, fans, and race volunteers. If we were to hold the race today, it’s doubtful that the lake ice would be thick enough, or the river ice strong enough to withstand the race traffic, and weather forecasts are not giving us any indication that conditions will greatly improve.
In the next few days, we will begin issuing refunds to all teams that have paid their entry fees. More details will follow by email.
Though we have worked very hard to get ready for the 2016 races, the Knik race committee will not knowingly put the dogs, mushers, fans, or volunteers at risk. We hope to see you in Knik in 2017.