Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race 1998
At 19 I became one of the youngest mushers to complete the 1000 mile YQ. I didn't have much race experience going into the race, but race qualifications were not something to take seriously in those days and people just "went for it" so to speak. I spent many years training with my dad and started mushing when I was 3. The year before he won the YQ becoming one of the only 1000 mile champions of both it and the Iditarod. I helped him train everyday that season and felt inspired to see the trail for myself. I had always most enjoyed developing yearlings into race dogs and into leaders. I took almost half a team of yearlings, three of whom finished in my little 7 dog finishing team. Because I did the majority of the race as a "camping trip" I don't feel it is the hardest race I've done. Really racing to win is much more difficult than just getting down the trail. I was young and dumb, trying to race at first with no race plan whatsoever, just my dad's advice to travel with an older back of the pack racer because he "had a daughter". Well I never saw that guy and he scratched, as did half the race field that year. My lack of planning left me with a small team and a better understanding of how to keep a team together.
The highlight of my race was the bond that formed between Lily and I. She was a yearling phenom who led most of the way with my old leader Camaro. She was small and not a standout in training, weighing only 37 lbs at the vet checks. She had never been in lead before that race. She went on to become one of my dad's go to main leaders for major races to come. Her genetics run strong in our dogs today. She was a little alpha and like her sire, Commander, remains one of my all time favorite dogs.
Team: Camaro, Lily, Sky, Mango, Mars, Elvis, Seager, Wallstreet, Vogue, Comet, Stripe, String, Tarzan, and Star.