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Asheville, NC – April 17, 2018 – Ultra marathoner, Pete Ripmaster of Asheville, North Carolina took home first place at the 2018 Iditarod Trail Invitational (ITI) in the Foot 1000 category. After toeing the line on February 25, Ripmaster completed the 1000-mile journey across the far reaches of the Alaskan wilderness on March 24, with a total time of 26 days, 13 hours, and 44 minutes.
The Iditarod Trail Invitational is the longest winter ultra-marathon in the world, testing racers’ endurance, mental fortitude, and resilience. The ITI Foot 1000 has built a reputation as the world’s toughest winter race. Starting the week before the renowned Iditarod dog sled race, competitors battle inhospitable conditions and unforeseen obstacles along the historic Iditarod Trail in an attempt to reach the finish line in Nome, Alaska within 30 days. A largely self-sufficient race, participants carry their survival gear with them, traversing the final 650 miles without support.
Ripmaster was one of six ultra-athletes to compete in this year’s ITI 1000 Foot category. Of the six competitors only two crossed the finish line as gale force winds, -50F temperatures, and waist deep snow forced many competitors to drop-out early. Averaging 38 miles a day, Ripmaster took first place a full 12-hours ahead of the second-place finisher.
Since running his first marathon in 2008, Ripmaster has been dedicated to the pursuit of competing in challenging physical and mental endeavors, culminating in the ITI Foot 1000. His journey to win the ITI Foot 1000 was no easy feat. Starting in 2014, he competed in his first ITI Foot 350, finishing in last place, but then returned the following year to take third place. After successfully accomplishing the 350, he decided to attempt the ITI Foot 1000 race. In his 2016 attempt, he came close to death as he fell through the ice 200 miles in. On sheer adrenaline and willpower Ripmaster fought against the current to haul himself out of the river, continuing an additional 300 miles before pulling out of the race. In 2017 all racers had to stop due to extreme winter weather (-60°F day after day). 2018 was Ripmaster’s year, and through perseverance and determination, he secured first place.
“This year I was all in, I needed to finish what I started over 5 years ago,” says Ripmaster. “With this race I had the opportunity to redeem myself after failing to get to Nome, Alaska the previous two years.” From howling wolves to navigating the river that almost took his life two years prior, Ripmaster mastered the course one day at a time. “I simply tried my best to be in the moment and to think of only the day I was in. That was the only way I was going to ‘slay the dragon’!” At 4:30 AM on March 24, Ripmaster walked across the finish line in Nome, Alaska completing the ITI Foot 1000 and was crowned 2018 champion.
For more information on Pete Ripmaster and his first-place finish at the 2018 Iditarod Trail Invitational in the Foot 1000 category email Cory Van Auken, email@example.com.
Pete Ripmaster is a father, husband, ultra-marathoner, and public speaker. Pete competed in his first marathon in 2008. Since then he has run over 50 marathons and won the most brutal winter ultra-marathon in the world- the Iditarod Trail Invitational (ITI). Pete is a decorated public speaker with a passion for sharing his story of perseverance and determination. Ultimately, he empowers audiences across the country to reach their goals through purpose and resolve. Pete continues to inspire others to chase their dreams with tenacity, one talk at a time. For more information on Pete and his touring scheduling visit peteripmaster.com.