More than 100 athletes turned out for the Alaska State Champion Motocross Series at Twin Cities Raceway on Saturday, but the dedication of one competitor stood above the rest.
Jake Jacobs, 18, traveled from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, for the chance to race in the summer's fourth weekend of five weekends of state competition.
The trek is 15 hours and nearly 900 miles - each way.
"It's a family thing," said Tracey Jacobs, Jake's mother. "Long days on the road, but it's something we enjoy."
Racing will continue today and the Clarion will print results when they become available.
A longtime racer, Jacobs also traveled the road to recovery following a serious spill a few years ago. He broke both his arms, an elbow and his jaw when he collided with a boulder while riding with a friend along some back roads.
Since there is only one motocross track in Whitehorse - and it's in poor condition, Jacobs said - serious riders must be creative when looking for practice areas.
Once he regained his health following the accident, Jacobs was hesitant to get back on a bike.
"I got scared for a while," he said. "It took a little while, but my parents pushed me - pretty much told me to get back on."
Back in the seat Saturday, Jacobs raced four times. He competed in two events in the 125cc intermediate division and two more in the 250 intermediate division, earning a second-place finish in his first 250 race.
Tracey said this was the family's second trip to Kenai, the first coming in 2008. They didn't make the trip for the first state weekend in Kenai this year.
The Jacobs were in Fairbanks in July and Anchorage earlier this season and they plan to visit Anchorage for another competition later this month.
But traveling long distances isn't anything new for the family. Peter Jacobs, Jake's father, races snowmachines professionally in Canada and across the United States.
Tracey is comfortable watching Peter, but Jake?
"It's a lot scarier than watching my husband," Tracey said. "It can be stressful, but you've got to support them and just hope they don't get hurt."
Athletes competed in 26 divisions on an overcast afternoon, when most competitors described the conditions as good.
Despite steady rain in the days leading up to the event, the track was free of mud puddles.
The damp surface kept dust to a minimum - something for which the riders were grateful.
"NASA should study this dirt," said Barney Phillips, the vice president of KPRL. "It's crazy. It rained for four days. It was so muddy, and now it's almost perfect."
Meanwhile, participant Austin Dobbs, 14, came to the track with his father, Randy, who also competed.
Austin has been racing since the age of 9, when Randy first bought him a bike, and now the father-son duo from Kasilof share a passion for adrenaline.
Although Austin admitted that his elder is the faster of the two, he enjoys learning from an experienced rider.
Whether it's how to approach or come out of corners, preparing for jumps or controlling the bike in tricky situations, everything Austin knows he has learned from Randy.
"I think it's really cool that me and him can find a sport that we can do together," said Austin, an incoming freshman at Skyview High School. "The sport really has no age at all, so we can do it."