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* Due to technical difficulties, many apologies for this story being later
than planned. Thank you for your patience **
SPRING 2004 NEWSLETTER
Hi Sled Dog Fans!
WOW! Another Iditarod is already over! The winter always seems to go so fast! I guess the saying ‘time flies when you are having fun’is all too true. I am already thinking about how I want to run the race again next year.
I want to say a very special THANK YOU to everyone who supported me financially, physically, and mentally. We couldn’t do this without the help of others. It is very much appreciated!
This year’s Iditarod was quite exciting with 87 teams starting. There was a lot of very good top competitive teams. My goal this year was to run the race in under 11 days and beat my previous year’s times and try to get into the top 20 again. Well, I did pretty good on my goal. In 2001, my time was 11 days, 23 hrs; in 2003, my time was 11 days, 4 hrs; and this year I was able to run the race in 10 days, 14 hrs. I am getting faster, but so is everyone else! I finished 21st place, just 2 minutes out of the top 20! I had a lot of fun racing Ray Redington to the finish line. My team and I gave him a pretty good race but he beat us by 2 minutes over 1100 miles. Pretty incredible! Oh, well. I sure had a lot of fun and we’ll try again next year.
I have had a lot of questions this year about why I want to run the Iditarod, what drives me to work 18 to 20 hr days in the middle of winter at below zero temps in the mostly dark days of Alaska? Well, sometimes when things get really tough, I ask myself the same thing. The dogs are a very big part of it. They have such wonderful and different personalities that it is always a fun challenge to work with them and mold them into one team. The dogs trust me to care for them and that is not something I take lightly. The bond that we form is what helps us travel 1100 miles through Alaska’s frozen tundra, rivers, mountains, and sea ice. Even when Mother Nature throws some pretty severe weather conditions at us the dogs and I always pull through together. Another reason is a sense of accomplishment. It is a great feeling to set a goal for yourself and be able to overcome great obstacles and still achieve your goal. Reaching the finish line in Nome always brings such mixed emotions--the sheer joy of finishing, a sense of pride for a great accomplishment, and a little bit of sadness because it is all over. The last reason is the fact that I just love being outdoors and enjoying the beautiful country that God has created. And what better way to do that than with 16 of by best friends!
This year I had a really good crew of dogs to work with. I started out with 28 dogs on the roster--all ages from 2yrs old to 10 yrs old. I was able to pick by best 20 by the end of February. From that I got my final 16 by the start of the race. This year’s team was a very good mix of youth and experience. My 3 old timers at 9 and 10 yrs old were Asics, Nike, and Brave. All 3 have finished the Iditarod several times and are always some of my best dogs and leaders. Brave at 10 yrs old is just an amazing dog! Also on the team again was Sawyer, Dottie, Judd, Kate, Kuling, Spider, Leo, and Peanut. New on the team for their first year running the Iditarod was Maya, Hopi, Souix, Dusty, and R2. The super stars in this year’s race was Kuling, Spider, Leo, and Judd. They did almost all of the leading. But good ole Brave finished again for his 5th time! What a dog!
Now that the race is over and I am back at home, I am concentrating on training all my puppies. I have 20 very energetic puppies that need to be run. The winter here just doesn't’t seem to want to give up. We have almost 3 feet of snow and it is still snowing and the temperature is -10 degrees below zero and it is April! Oh well, I like snow so that’s good, but I wouldn’t mind if it would warm up just a little bit.
A very big THANK YOU again to everyone who helped support my 2004 Iditarod. It is greatly appreciated! Keep posted to my website and I will have a full story about my Iditarod up very soon. I hope all is well with everyone this spring and you are enjoying life to its fullest! Dream Big and Dare to Fail!
and all my four-footed friends
Have the desire to achieve, and the courage to dare!