Mountain Hardwear athlete Geoff Roes finished the 2012 Iditarod Trail Invitational, a 350-mile race across the Alaska backcountry, placing first in the foot division and fourth overall.  He made two previous attempts in 2008 and 2009 but had to pull out, having not made it past mile 150.  This time he said his primary focus was “savoring and embracing whatever experience the trail threw my way” and his secondary focus was “to do whatever it took to make it the full 350 miles to the finish in McGrath.”  He certainly accomplished these goals this year finishing the race in 6 days 23 hours 25 minutes as the first runner across to cross the finish, four hours before the next place finisher.

Roes posted a full race report on Monday with photos and detailed daily reports that convey the both the extremity and the sense of accomplishment of this undertaking.  He has posted videos as well as his food and gear list which included several Mountain Hardwear products on his blog.   Here is what he says about the Nilas Down Jacket, “This is without a doubt the most effective down jacket I have ever worn. The warmth to weight ratio is amazing. Even at 40 or 50 below I couldn’t zip it all the way up in front or I would get too warm. Yet it only weighs 22 ounces. I wouldn’t ever consider going out there without this jacket.”  Roes reflects on the experience saying, “this event is without a doubt even more epic than I had already imagined. The satisfaction in completing it is without question the greatest I have ever had from a physical endeavor.”  We’ll see if he’s back next year to use the free race entry he received for his first place finish in the foot division.

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