Thursday, March 5, 2009

Iditarod: It's not just for dogs anymore

Can you believe it? We just had a token snowfall in the triangle this past weekend—missed a little school, had a few business delays, experienced some inconveniences—all so that we could say we had winter. Now that winter is “over,” temperatures this coming weekend may hit the low 80s.

Hey, not so fast! They take this winter thing seriously up in Alaska. Ever hear of Iditarod? Talk about VO2 maxes off the charts . . . those dogs are something! But that’s another story. Now humans are getting into the act . . .

This past Sunday was the start of the Iditarod Trail Invitational, the “ World’s longest [human] ultra race across frozen Alaska.” Participants sign up for 350- or 1100-mile events biking, skiing, or running across the Alaskan tundra.

“Billed as the ‘world’s longest human-powered winter ultra-race,’ Jeff , here, views the competition as not only a chance to see some of the country’s most remote terrain, but also as a source of personal satisfaction, having traversed the Alaska Range (the Northern end of the Rockies where Mt. McKinley is located) using only human power.”

RUSA member, Catherine Shenk, who completed the 2008 Last Chance 1200 with NC’s own Jerry and JoAnn, has checked into the control at mile 165.

This week, we’ll celebrate human achievement at the Iditarod. Next week, we’ll pull for the dawgs (and their human compatriots)!


-b said...

Excellent timing! I just started reading Jill Homer's "Ghost Trails" book about her experiences riding the Iditarod. Definitely a good read:

dean furbish said...

-b, thanks for the note. Apparently, Jill Homer's book is rather popular. She has quite a following. Her blogsite is here:

Unfortunately, she experienced frostbitten toes on her right foot a couple days ago during this year's race.

Bob O. said...

Jill's book is a good read. I finished it right before the Iditarod Trail Invitational began.

The book Winterdance is an excellent book about the dog sled version.

AHands said...

Back when I worked at the AKC, I was discussing IditaBike with a co-worker he pointed out that in such an event, racing with dogs has advantages over racing with bikes. e.g., "if stranded in the wild, you cannot eat a bike" !