Leah Gruhn Becomes the First and Only Woman to Complete Iditarod's Human-Powered Version by Bike this year. After facing extreme weather conditions and a challenging trail, Leah Gruhn, a 43-year-old cyclist from Duluth, has made history by becoming the first woman to finish the Iditarod Trail Invitational (ITI) by bike.
Gruhn battled through 1,000 miles of the harsh Alaskan wilderness, with temperatures reaching 20 below and heavy snowfall, which forced several participants to quit the race within the first night. Despite the challenges, Gruhn persevered and finished the race in 21 days, 2 hours, and 48 minutes, making her the sole female participant to complete the ITI. She also found unexpected beauty in the race's southern route, known for its challenging terrain and breathtaking landscapes.
Gruhn formed a group of five cyclists, including three Italians and a New Zealander, turning the race into an unforgettable expedition. "Once our group of five solidified, there was a group mentality that no one was going to be left behind," she said.
As she makes her way back to Duluth, Gruhn's remarkable achievement will undoubtedly inspire others to pursue their own dreams, no matter how challenging the journey may be.