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Story Last modified at 4:46 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hufford trail dedication set for Saturday

One of Alaska's most grueling races will be the site of a dedication for one of the state's toughest competitors.

The final leg of the Sadler's Alaska Challenge, a handcycle race from Fairbanks to Anchorage, will get underway on Saturday, July 30 following a ceremony to name a portion of trail parallel to Eagle River Loop in honor of the late Mark Hufford, a Chugiak handcyclist who died in January.

"Mark was an inspiration to many for overcoming the mental and physical impacts of paralysis to continue to live life and compete at the highest level of his sport," said Rep. Anna Fairclough, who sponsored a bill in the State House naming the trail for Hufford.

The bill was signed into law by Gov. Sean Parnell on July 25, clearing the way for the dedication ceremony.

Hufford was paralyzed in a hunting accident in 1995, yet went on to become one of the state's premier handcyclists. The ceremony naming the trail in his name will be held Saturday, July 30 at 9 a.m. on the Meadow Creek Bridge on Eagle River Loop. Members of Hufford's family will be in attendance, and the public is invited to attend.

The final section of the Alaska Challenge will take place after the dedication and start on the Glenn Highway at the in-bound weigh station.

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, July 27, 2011.