|From its humble beginnings in the 1960’s, the Nome – Golovin Snowmachine race has grown from a small weekend event to one of the most prestigious events in all of snowmobile racing.
In 1966 the Bering Sea Lions Club organized their first annual cross – country snowmachine race covering a trail between Nome and Teller and back. The 1966 race was the beginnings of what is now the Nome – Golovin Race.
The race course is roughly 200 miles and it runs on the final ninety miles of the historic Iditarod Sled Dog Trail between Nome and the community of Golovin.
On average there are about at least 65 or more participants in the race and the continually growing purse averages about at least, up to $35000 or more. The purse is distributed amongst the top 3 finishers in each class. The overall winner receives a total payout of anywhere between 10 and 15 thousand dollars for the day.
While the record course time is just under 2 hours at a time of 1 hour and 57 minutes which was set in 2000 by Calvin Schaeffer of Kotzebue on a Ski-Doo MXZ 700. Riders Generally complete the race in any between 2 to 4 hours depending on weather and trail conditions. Machiners average about 90 miles per hour during the race which includes refueling at the White Mountain checkpoint.
The annual race, generally held on the second Saturday in March brings racers, their families and guests from throughout the state to Nome in increasing numbers.
The race is primarily sponsored by the Nome Bering Sea Lions Club, but draws heavily on the support of volunteers and local businesses to both organize and provide monetary donations to help build the race’s growing purse.
Although the Nome- Golovin continues to be organized as an early spring relief for the ‘cabin fever’ developed by the region’s residents during the long winter months, the growing interest and attendance of the the race now also provides a unique opportunity for corporate sponsorship and participation.
The Kotzebue Race which is about 220 miles long also began in the 1960's. The Race begins on the sea ice in front of Kotzebue then goes through the checkpoints of Noorvik, Kiana, Selawik, back to Noorvik and then onto the finish line in Kotzebue. The Kotzebue Race is generally held on the first Saturday of April.