Don Bowers Race Start

Right before I started the Don Bowers Memorial Race in Willow this weekend I got a Facebook message from my biggest fan and supporter, my wife Michele. It it said in part:

“Never forget your dreams. Ineka and I are with you on the trail in spirit. LEARN!”

After the race/camping trip with the dogs this past weekend, I learned a lot. A lot about the dogs…

a lot about long distance mushing–checkpoint routines, camping, cooking and caring for the dogs…

a lot about the terrain of Alaska and how much snow really falls up here…

But more importantly I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I am ultra-competitive, sometimes losing sight on the ultimate goal…

I learned who my friends are (human and canine) and the relationship that I have formed over the past four months with a team of Alaskan Huskies…

I learned what a mentor’s job is…

I learned how slow an “Iditarod pace” really is…

I learned that a 200 pound guy with a 100 pound sled is a lot of weight on a 10 dog team on a rough trail. I now know why the greatest mushers in the world are not the size of Yukon Cornelius!

Yukon Cornelius

I learned that you don’t have to finish a race to FINISH a quest.

I also learned that in order to successfully race next season I have to do several things:

♦ Get into better shape. Running up tons of hills for the first 60 miles of the race I learned that I need to do something this off season to get into “race shape”. The first thing I am going to do and something that I have wanted to do for a long time– is training, prepare for an run a Triathlon in August.

The triathlon that I am planning on competing is is not the IRONMAN but a mini-tri with a 400 meter swim, a 9 mile bike ride and a 5k run. Small by triathlon standards but a feat that I can train for. I am looking forward to it and it will be fun!

♦I learned that sometimes the light isn’t always at the end of the tunnel but sometimes at your back.

So, sitting here 48 hours post-race I can honestly say I am a better musher than I was Friday morning. That is one thing that I am sure of.

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


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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5 Comments on “LEARN!”

  1. michele forto Says:

    Glad you learned 🙂


  2. dave scheer Says:

    Congratulations Robert !!



  1. 2010-11 Training Summary « Team Ineka Blog - May 4, 2011

    […] Read more about the Don Bowers run here […]

  2. 2010-11 Training Summary | Robert Forto - May 4, 2011

    […] Read more about the Don Bowers run here […]

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