Three Weeks, Three Races and 900 Miles Later

Finally, a still and quiet evening...  a moment to relish in the fact that we DID IT!  We are finally qualified for Iditarod 2016!!  :) 

More than 10 years ago, the words "I want to run the Iditarod some day" escaped out of my mouth after an Eric Bibb concert.  I had just listened to the the song, THE CAPE.  It is a song about courage and following your dreams.  At that point, I truly had no idea what the words "I want to run the Iditarod" meant, as I had never even been on a dog sled.  I had house sat for a sled dog kennel, watched the Iditarod start and volunteered at the Skwentna Iditarod Checkpoint as a Sweetie.   Despite my lack of experience and knowledge about sled dogs, racing, or owning a kennel, there was a persistent tugging at my heart.   I tried to convince myself for many years that I did not need to run the Iditarod.   I didn't know much, but I knew if I decided to get into mushing my life would change dramatically.  In 2010, my choices began to lead me in that direction and slowly, over the past four years, that hazy dream started to evolve into reality.  And, the clarity of the immensity of the challenge of obtaining that dream began to emerge.

One of the best pieces of advice I received in the past few years was "get off the timeline".  I originally hoped to run Iditarod in 2014, and then in 2015, but weather cancelled 3/5 qualifying races I signed up for in 2013 and 2014.  It was discouraging and very disappointing after training as best we could September through December/January.  However, with the added years of practice, the team matured and my depth of knowledge and experience continued to grow. This season, I was determined to complete the two 300-mile races I still needed to qualify for Iditarod 2016.  Just in case one got cancelled, I decided to sign up for three.... 3x300 miles races in 3 weekends.  I never imagined all three would actually happen.  And, I'm not sure I intended to run all three, if they did happen.  However, they did happen, and we completed all three smiling and with tails wagging.  We are very grateful for the extra dog power from Husky Homestead and a lot of help from our biggest fans.

With a great deal of patience, perseverance, hard work and a deep love for the dogs, the next step toward our goal happened when our team was ready... and next year at this time, we'll be prepping drop bags for Iditarod 2016!!  

Here's a video my Sissyhead made of the final seconds before I completed my last qualifying race, the Northern Lights 300.  A very proud moment!!