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Lucas's Adventure in Alaska

The founder of WoolAid, Lucas recently just spent 10 days in Nikolai, Alaska. Lucas lent a hand at the Iditarod Trail Invitational, renowned as the toughest ultra-marathon on the planet. Picture extreme physical challenges, crazy weather, and mental grit as racers tackle the historic Iditarod Trail by bike, foot, or skis. Lucas was like a ray of sunshine for the racers, stationed at a checkpoint, dishing out food and running water to keep everyone fuelled up.


With up to 30 freezing days and some seriously long, lonely nights, racers have to be self-reliant and tough as nails. The Iditarod Trail Invitational is famous for its brutal conditions and lack of outside help, making it the ultimate testing ground for WoolAid bandages' durability. I caught up with Lucas to ask him a few questions about his recent escapade to Alaska.


Where did you go and for how long?

Nikolai in Alaska, which is 300 miles along the Iditarod trail. We were there for about 10 days.


What was your role in the Iditarod trail?

Keeping the races alive, we ran a vital checkpoint with a cooked meal, proper shelter, running water and toilets. However, we have to have a balance and not provide too much comfort as the race's ethos is you are your only option. 


When I arrived there was no running water or working toilets in the village. The pump for the village water had been broken for two months prior but I found out the day we arrived that there was going to be no water for the racers. So it was my job to ensure we could haul the water, some creative trading was involved to haul frozen river water to the village to treat it and then provide it for the racers. 




In your words how would you describe the Iditarod Trail?

The whole thing is just insane, 1000 miles in the dead of winter on a rough trail that doesn’t follow a particular path. Racers are put to the test in the most extreme conditions you could imagine. 


The history behind the Iditarod trail is that it started as the Great Race of Mercy, a village along the trail had a horrible diphtheria outbreak in 1925 and the doctor noticed that the serum had expired so it became a huge relay to get the new serum to the Nome. Despite proposals to fly the serum, the relay was chosen due to the unreliability of planes in Alaska's winter conditions. The relay faced extreme cold, blizzards, and treacherous terrain. The serum run to Nome stands as a testament to human and canine bravery, highlighting the importance of teamwork and determination in the face of adversity. Now racers have to be invited to complete this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Knowing the history of the event creates a real comradery on the trail and it is an amazing thing to see. 


What motivates you to embark on journeys like this?

I asked myself the same thing out there. So few people get to go so far out of their comfort zone. This is my 3rd time back which is a privilege and three points motivate me to do this. 


1st point: Watching the races use wool products and seeing the evolution of the wool product. 


2nd point: Very few people get to experience what -40 is like, it is a burning type of cold and plastic and cotton are completely inadequate for these types of temperatures. Wool and stuff from nature are the only things that work in these types of environments. Seeing WoolAid in these conditions gives confidence in our product. It is also great that we can give the racers an option they can trust. 


3rd point: The people, physicality means nothing out there, it's all about mental games. It taught me that no matter who you are physically it is about how you approach it mentally. It’s all about how you react to situations.


How did WoolAid handle these tough conditions?

Beautifully, this is what WoolAid is designed for and where the product testing happened. It is awesome to see the versatility of WoolAid, used on faces to protect from frostbite as well as being used for blisters and cuts. After 300 miles in racers, any races that had used plastic or cotton products were keen to swap for wool. All of the races understood the safety that wool provided.


Can you share the most remarkable or unusual sight you saw?

The most remarkable sight there was just seeing the races come through after 80 miles of not seeing anyone facing the most horrible conditions. They stopped in at the checkpoint and they were still very positive and had a great sense of humour. It truly showed that the way to getting through the Iditarod trail was all about having a good mindset. 


More people will summit Mt Everest in a day than have ever cycled to Nome. It truly is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get to experience the Iditarod trail. It is remarkable that WoolAid has been able to be tested in these types of conditions showing that WoolAid performs at every end of the spectrum. From a blister from high heels on a night out to protecting your face from frostbite in below-40-degree weather WoolAid has got you covered. 




Links to more information 

Safety to Nome Movie Trailer 

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