Thrasher named Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Athlete of the Week
At long last, Aaron Thrasher won the Kenai 250 bike race and among his rewards is being named the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Athlete of the Week for July 3.
Thrasher, of Anchorage, claimed the self-supported event June 26-28 in 26 hours, 43 minutes.
The race covers about 265 miles, much of it on singletrack trails, and climbs 30,000 feet of elevation. It travels from Hope to Seward and back on routes including the Resurrection Pass, Russian Lakes, Lost Lake and Johnson Pass trails as well as some paved roads that connect them.
Thrasher’s breakthrough came after he tied for second place in both 2019 and 2017 and took third in 2018.
Thrasher pedaled 1 hour, 40 minutes faster than runner-up Dustin Eroh of Anchorage. Renowned ultracyclist Lael Wilcox was the fastest woman and placed fourth overall in 1:06:16 in the 8th edition of the event, which was organized by Michael Braun.
Thrasher’s time was 41 minutes faster than the Charles DiMarzio’s record from 2019. However, the Kenai 250 website results does not list Thrasher as the new record-holder, perhaps because the 2020 course was slightly modified due a closure of the Meridian Lake Trail Area. Likewise, Wilcox’s time was more than six hours faster than Corrie Smith’s 2019 record of 1:12:32.
Wilcox, an ASHOF Athlete of the Week for May 29, reported that the first day featured wet conditions but day two was sunny, warm and dry.
“My biggest challenges were trying to ride wet, slippery roots & rocks and I got super sleepy twice,” Wilcox said on Facebook. “It was too wet and cold to nap, so I just pedaled through.”
This year’s edition featured a record 21 finishers while 10 others dropped out.
The athlete of the week recipient is selected by a panel each Friday and announced Saturday at 11 a.m. on the Sports Guys on CBS Sports Radio 590AM and 96.7FM.
View past winners here.