Iditarod

It’s all about the shared suffering…

Alaskans seem to embrace their long winters more than anywhere else I’ve seen in the north. Their affinity for crazy adventure races is a testament to their celebration of northern living.

A New Daily Routine

The quietness is however short lived, the silence broke as soon as I approached the harnesses… It was their way of showing their will to go; their desire to work. They were 50, and yet only 14 would be taken for the first round. And they knew it very well! As soon as I put …

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Brave and Bold

Jessie Royer Kennel: The J Team Age: 40 Nationality: American (Fairbanks, AK) Experience: Rookie

It’s 40 years of mushing on the Percy DeWolfe Trail

Anna Claxton and the rest of the Percy DeWolfe Race Committee were hugely relieved to be able to announce that the “really hard working, amazing, dedicated trail crew” had managed to push a trail through a total of about five miles of jumble ice, and find ways around the various open leads in the river. …

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Books for Armchair Mushers

Mushing season has begun. While waiting for the Yukon Quest or the Iditarod, here are some suggestions for armchair mushers. Racing Toward Recovery by Mike Williams and Lew Freedman This book is a set of four true stories from the North. The main story, “Dog Team to Dawson,” is about the author’s sled dog trip …

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Mush It Forward

Marathon runners spend a lot of time and dedication working towards being the best runner they can be. Countless hours are spent in the gym, running on a track, doing specific exercises designed to enhance their performance. With sled dogs who race it’s no different. The Yukon Quest is a very long race and as …

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A Handler’s Tale

When I showcased my subpar dog handling skills in a race for the first time, it was the 2006 Yukon Quest. But I was no stranger to the Quest, because I had covered it five times before that as a reporter for the Yukon News. I figured I knew a thing or two (or three, …

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From handler to racer

After almost a decade of being a Yukon Quest handler, partner, sponsor, and anything else required, Tamra Reynolds is embarking on her very own Yukon Quest. Her journey to the Quest start-line started in 2003. While living in Vancouver, Reynolds ventured up the Dalton Highway in Alaska to the Arctic Circle. On that trip, she …

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Musher and Dog, Racing as One

It all started with a group of friends at a bar; in the North, it often starts that way. The Iditarod was considered the longest and toughest race in the world. And it probably was at the time. But somehow it all seemed a bit commercial and really just, well, just a race. They thought …

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Travelling hearts

What is it that keeps a heart going? Well, aside from the obvious flesh-and-blood answers, it’s spirit … spirit that lives on when loved ones have passed on. And that is why a former Yukon Quest musher, Michelle Phillips, is preparing, once again, to carry Feelie Hearts in her sled basket as she races for …

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World of Words: From Dryland to Northland: One Musher’s Tale

According to John Firth’s new book One Mush, Jamaicans hate dogs. So what was Caribbean musher Newton Marshall doing on the Yukon Quest in 2009? One Mush, self-published jointly by Firth and the Jamaica Dogsled Team, tells that story. “I thought it was a great story because of the cultural gap between the beaches of …

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Remembering the Iron Man

Percy deWolfe, known as the Iron Man Mail Carrier, faced many unpredictable moments during his 38 years (1910-1949) on the trail between Dawson and Eagle. He did it all year round, so there were different factors every season. But sticking to the so-called “spring” when the Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race is run, Percy would …

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