One of the many questions fans of the ITI race ask is how the racers keep motivated when the weather is tough, the Trail feels hostile and exhaustion stops limbs from moving forward.
The answer is complex because everyone is different.
But having a bigger purpose than the race is definitely something that helps athletes pushing harder when their bodies are failing them and the mind calls for quitting.
A bigger purpose is what is on George Adams and Graham Muir’s minds.
The two athletes, known as Lefto & Bush, are childhood friends from Turangi, New Zealand.
Growing up together in a tight knit Māori community, they understand the value of helping each other and have a deep respect for the land they get to ride on.
This is why they are giving back to the communities they travel through, along the Iditarod Trail.
“We decided to raise funds for the children of these villages as part of giving back to the communities as we travel their lands”, says Graham.
The racers met with Nikolai’s school teacher when they stopped for a rest to discuss some of the challenges that the community faces and give him a generous donation for the school (see pictures below).
They were joined by volunteer George Grigonis (of famed “Nikolai Hotel Grill”) who has been involved in Nikolai in the past two years.
What better driver than empowering young people when the next checkpoint seems so far?
Well done Graham and George for racing with generosity.