Deciding to run the 1000-mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race is not one I take lightly. However, after much thought and discussion with my husband, I will travel the trail one final time in 2019. I will be 60 years young and this a great way to finish my Iditarod racing career.
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Went to Iditarod Headquarters yesterday with friends visiting from California. They are pointing out the two years where my name is on the Red Lantern Trophy: 2015 (age 56) and 2017 (age 58). Life just keeps getting better.
Love those dogs! This is leaving the yard with the Big Banana and Manley in lead. Look at 50 Below (in wheel) – he looks all mean (but he is a big love). What he is reacting to is Barge, who is checking him out. Barge is an Iditarod veteran and 50 Below an up-and-coming race dog. Barge just wants to make sure that 50 knows his place Photo by Laurent Dick
Iditarod 2018 has begun! It feels strange to be standing on the outside of the starting chute. At least I got a hug from Joanne Potts, one of the most dedicated people behind the scences of The Last Great Race.
My team came in 9th at the end of the 2-day Earl Norris Memorial Sled Dog Race. Not too bad considering it was a sprint race and we are long-disance racers AND I only had 8 dogs when other teams had 10 – love those strong doggies. My Big Banana is so considerate – moving to the side to do his pre-race business and Tug appreciated his thoughtfulness ? It was Fifty Below’s (in wheel) first race – he eventually started looking forward and he did great with all the passing – great training!
NO 2018 IDITAROD FOR ME. NO 2018 IDITAROD FOR ME. Ten years ago when I was diagnosed with Wegener’s granulomatosis, I was determined to not let the disease write the Life-and-Times of Cindy Abbott and I stuck to my training schedule to climb Mt Everest. I told my doctors that I did not have a death-wish, and if anything happened, I would turn around. I would take it, “Ten-feet-at-a-time.” This is how I have lived life ever since, and I have done amazing things. After months of weighting all of the variables, I have come to the conclusion that I will not be running the 2018 Iditarod. I need to re-balance my life on many level: time, finances, stress, and health. While I find peace and joy when I am out running the dogs, this season I have not been myself. Running the Iditarod is a huge 6-month commitment of time and money. I had hoped it would be easier now that our house is built and we live in Alaska. However, the previous years of continuous work and stress have taken a toll on me, at least temporarily. Larry was 100% supportive of me running in 2018, it was completely up to me. Vern has also been 100% supportive of me making the decision which is best for me. Wisdom dictates that I pause and take a breath. There is an awesome dog team at Dream a Dream Dog Farm, even better than the team I ran last year! We will continue to run the dogs at a lesser level with the focus on the 2019 Iditarod. By then, I will be 60 years old! It would be so cool to run the race at the age 60. Thank you for all of your support.
Running the 1000-mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race is, without question, the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life, but I love doing it. Does that make sense? The Iditarod Trail Committee’s (ITC) Mission Statement helps explain a little of the Why We Do This:
ITC Mission Statement
“TO PROMOTE, SPONSOR AND SUSTAIN THE WORLDPREMIER SLED DOG RACE ALONG THE IDITAROD TRAIL, WHICH INCORPORATES TRADITIONAL WILDERNESS MUSHING SKILLS, MANDATES THE HUMANE TREATMENT OF DOGS, REFLECTS THE HUMAN WONDER AND CHALLENGE OF ALASKA’S WILDERNESS, CONTRIBUTES TO THE HISTORIC, SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL FABRIC OF ALASKA AND PRESERVES THE HISTORIC CONTRIBUTION AND CONTEMPORARY PRACTICE OF DOG MUSHING”
Fall training has begun. Actually, we started fall training on Sept 1st. Running 2 12-dog teams out of Vern Halter / Dream a Dream Dog Farm. Love those doggies!