The Future Home of Iditarod Dreams: Race Prep

Robert Forto

It has been a long time since I have ran a dog sledding race. Almost a decade. I had waited for this time in my life for a long time and it is fast approaching.

You see, life got in the way, as I call it back, in early 2001 and I gave up the sport of running dogs to raise a family, start a business, and in short, settle down.

But nothing purged that dream of running the Iditarod “someday”. Sure my wife and I talked about it it passing. We searched the Internet for properties in a half-paced effort to placate our desires to be in the Great Wild North but the stars never seemed to align just at the right time.

In July everything changed. I am sure you know the story if you are one of my rabid readers of this blog, but if not you can read about it here.

Next week, a week from today in fact, I will be running my first race. A 200 miler. It is not a qualifier for the Iditarod but it is a race that I am looking very forward to. I know I am ready. I have put in countless hours with the dogs and have learned what I need to know as an Alaskan musher, which is a far cry from what I used to do on the trails of Minnesota and Colorado.

I know the dogs are ready too. I have almost a 1000 miles on them myself and my kennel partners have at least that much on them as well. We don’t just train these dogs for this race but for the Serum Run as well. That takes place in mid-February and it is a 700 mile trek following the path that they took to deliver the serum from Nenana to Nome, AK in 1925.

The dogs and I have ran in just about every condition. From the rain soaked dirt roads on the ATV this fall to the snow machine in the swamps, to the camping trips up the river and the night runs under a gorgeous full moon.

The only thing that concerns me is my sled. I know it will do fine on this race but it is small by distance mushing standards. It is a mid-distance sled. Mid-distance in Colorado mushing is 25 miles. In Alaska it is 200 miles or more. As they say, everything is bigger in Alaska.

My sled can carry all of my gear: a cooker, a cooler, an axe, dog coats, dog food and snacks, a sleeping bag, dog booties, but little else. I will have to strap my straw on the top of my sled bag and if I have to carry an injured dog that will be something in itself!

I am sure this coming week will be hectic as we prepare for and countdown for the race. I am sure I will have a few butterflies. Who doesn’t in a sporting event?

But with this race I will prove something to myself that I have thought about a LONG time…

See you on the trails and never forget your dreams!

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Works Radio | Denver Dog Works | Daily Post


Dr. Robert Forto is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and Dog Works Radio Shows


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About robertforto

Robert Forto is the owner of Dog Works Training Company in Alaska, a canine behaviorist, mushin' down a dream, sports nut and radio show host. Robert writes a lot about his observations in Alaska, pop culture, music, and of course dogs!

View all posts by robertforto

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  1. Tweets that mention The Future Home of Iditarod Dreams: Race Prep « -- - January 21, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dr. Robert Forto, Dr. Robert Forto, Robert Forto, PhD, Michele Forto, Duluth Dog Works and others. Duluth Dog Works said: Race Prep #dogs #ff #mushing #Alaska #Iditarod […]

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