When the Fireweed 400 began, participants could only choose between 400 mile and century events. The scenery between the 100 mile turn around, and Valdez is too good to not be seen. The high mountain peaks of the Wrangell Mountains fill the horizon on your trip past the town of Glennallen. While climbing up Thompson Pass, the Worthington glacier is a welcome distraction. Finally, the run through Keystone Canyon along the thundering Lowe river and past Bridal Veil falls is nothing short of breathtaking. Inspired by this incredible scenery, Alaskan biker Pat Irwin helped create the Great Alaska Double Century. Bike all day, overnight in Valdez in a comfy hotel room or convivial campsite, and then return home either by road or on the Alaska Marine Highway ferry. Early race starts extend this incredible experience to riders who really want to savor their ride!
Often our biggest event, the 200 attracts about a hundred solo riders, and 400 more people on relays of 2 or 4 people. Over the years, tandem and tandem team entries have also participated in the Great Alaska Double Century.
The Worthington Glacier pictured below was photographed from the race course.
The 200-mile course starts at Sheep Mountain Lodge (Glenn Highway Milepost 113.5), heads east to Glennallen (Milepost 187), then turns south (right) onto the Richardson Highway and stays on the Richardson all the way to the finish line in Valdez. The course passes six aid stations before reaching Valdez; all are located on the right side of the highway as riders approach.
(1) Glenn Highway Milepost 135.9 (approx. 22.5 miles from start); located on the left side when riding toward Valdez. This aid station marks the turnaround for the 50-mile event and is fully staffed. It is for returning riders in the 50-mile, 100-mile and 400-mile events. This aid station should not be used by riders heading from Sheep Mountain Lodge toward Glennallen/Valdez, including outbound Great Alaska Century riders.
(2) Glenn Hwy. Milepost 141.3 (27.8 miles from start). Right side of the road. This aid station is the first aid station available to riders in the 100 and 200-mile events.
(3) Glenn Hwy. Milepost 162.3 (48.5 from the start) Right side of the road. This aid station is the turnaround for the 100-mile event. This aid station is for the 100 and 200-mile events.
(4) Glenn Hwy. Milepost 187 (73.5 miles from the start) Right side of the road at the Caribou Hotel in Glennallen, (907) 822-3711. This aid station is for the 200-mile events.
(5) Richardson Highway Milepost V92.7 (96.9 miles from the start); right side of the road at Grizzly Pizza & Gifts, (907) 822-3828. This aid station is for the 200-mile events.
(6) Richardson Hwy. Milepost V72 (117.4 miles from the start). Pull out on the right side of the road.
(7) Richardson Hwy. Milepost V29 (163.8 miles from the start). Right side of the road. This aid station is for the 200-mile events and 2DAY300K riders (if it is open when 300K riders arrive).
Early starts at 6:00 and 6:30 a.m. are for noncompetitive racers who would like additional time to complete the event. No podium awards (1st through 3rd place) or new course records will be awarded to early starters.
A measured 192 miles.