Leah Gruhn completes 1000 mile Iditarod Trail on fat bike

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 10:39 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - A Duluth woman has completed a 1000-mile journey on the famed Iditarod Trail riding a fat bike.

Leah Gruhn competed in the Iditarod Trail Invitation 1000 that began on February 26.

After 21 days, 2 hours, and 48 minutes, she crossed the finish line in Nome, Alaska and completed the world’s longest winter race, becoming the first Minnesotan to do so.

Competitors in the race could face grueling conditions: -50F temperatures, gale-force winds, rain, blizzards, waist-deep snow, mud, and glare ice.

Participants must carry all their survival gear and complete the final 500 miles without support, relying only on the supplies with them and those they send to remote villages before the race.

Despite the unforgiving elements, Gruhn said she didn’t want the race to end.

“Coming into the finish line, I felt a mixture of sadness that it was ending, but also appreciation and gratitude that it went as smoothly as it did. For me and the people I was with, we kept a positive attitude saying, ‘well it could be harder than it is’,” said Gruhn.

Gruhn enjoyed riding her fat bike alongside the sled dog teams competing in their own Iditarod race.

She also received much community support in her hometown of Duluth, as a big send-off event was held for her at Hoops Brewing back in February.