Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race

It seems that Harold and my parents have become quite the dog mushing enthusiasts. Especially when it comes to the Iditarod. You may remember Harold traveling to Elim last winter to see my brother and to see the Iditarod mushers come through town on their way to Nome. It turns out these enthusiasts also have great timing.

My folks were up for a visit the first week of Feburary and it just so happened that there was a dog mushing race, The Tustumena 200, taking place just down the road from us. So we were sure to make our way down for the start of the race.

In order for mushers to compete in the Iditarod Race they must compete in some qualifying races. The Tustumena 200 is on the list of races that count as one of the qualifiers for the Iditarod. So we were able to see some names we recognized.

The Seaveys happen to live not far from where we are now. Mitch Seavey and his son Dallas have both won the Iditarod. In fact, last year Harold was cheering hard for Dallas as he became the youngest racer ever to win the Iditarod. Harold was sorely disappointed that Dallas wasn't around for the T200 but we did get to see Mitch take off.

Mitch Seavey was the winner of the T200 that weekend.

We also saw Jamie Nelson of Togo, Minnesota as she crossed the start line. Jamie is the four time winner of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon and has also completed the Iditarod numerous times. I felt like we were part of a secret Togo club: the Lindulas, Rudstroms and Jamie Nelson since we were most likely the only people in the crowd who have set foot in Togo.

It was a wonderfully warm and beautiful day. A great day to be a spectator. I would imagine this will become a yearly event for our family.