Iditarod Trail Invitational 1000
Alaska, USA - February 2022
The Iditarod Trail Invitational 1000 is the world's longest running winter ultra-marathon. The pinnacle of all winter ultra-marathons, the ITI 1000 takes competitors through the far reaches of the Alaskan wilderness, following the Iditarod Trail to its conclusion under the famed burled arch in Nome, Alaska. Competitors have 30 days to race 1,000 miles across some of the world's most treacherous terrain in hospitable conditions. Every year on the Iditarod Trail is different and conditions change in the blink of an eye during the journey. ITI 1000 competitors face temperatures from -50F to 35F, gale force winds, rain, blizzards, waist-deep snow, mud, glare ice and bright sunny skies - all in the same day.
Navy veteran, ultramarathon runner, and Guardian Revival Sponsored Athlete, Keith Eckert, has chosen to run the 2022 ITI 1000. Keith's goal is to raise $100 for each mile he conquers across the Alaskan wilderness, aiming to raise a total of $100,000 by time he takes his last step across the frozen finish line in Nome, Alaska.
Born and raised in Chandler, AZ, Keith grew up playing sports year-round and at an early age, discovered his passion for helping others. Keith went on to graduate from the United States Naval Academy and was a Division I collegiate wrestler before commissioning in the the U.S. Navy.
Suffering for a Cause
Keith will be competing in the ITI 1000 to raise awareness on our nation's veteran and first responder mental health epidemic. The frigid temperatures, gale-force winds, rain, blizzards, waist-deep snow, mud, and ice that Keith will face during his journey symbolize our Guardians' mental health struggles and what oftentimes seems like an impassable road to recovery. Keith's suffering will inspire our struggling Guardians to continue battling and to never give in, even during their darkest moments; similarly, those struggling Guardians will inspire Keith to keep battling through his 30 days and 1,000 miles of darkness and oftentimes hopelessness on his long and treacherous journey to the finish line.