Going undercover on the 2011 Iditarod

I’m sure picking up on a LOT of excitement building as we near the start of the 2011 Iditarod. For me, this year is a strange one–this will be the first year I’ve covered the race as a writer, as opposed to standing on the runners and duking it out with the industry heavyweights. I’m completely “out” of dogs, and I have no immediate plans of getting back “in”, at least for the foreseeable future–quite a shift for a lifelong musher, Iditarod contestant, and outdoor adventurer.

There are a number of reasons for this career switch, and listing them here is beyond the scope of this post, but I will tell you that my early retirement has nothing to do with my passion for the sport–the Iditarod has been coded into my DNA, and I will never really stop being a dogman. With that said, the way my passion for the sport and mushing lifestyle will now show itself is in my writing.

My novel Ballad of the Northland, which I wrote over the last spring and summer after completing the 2010 Iditarod, is the purest expression of outdoor living & dog mushing adventure I could muster; the summation of what I believe the Iditarod is all about. My goal there was to say my piece about the sport of mushing as if it were my last chance to get the point across, to make those of you who’ve never experienced bush Alaska, distance dog mushing, or the grand spirit of the Northland truly understand what it means to lay all that you own on the line year after year to chase that cold dream, to be pounded by the great winds of the north, to be broken down to your component parts and remade…

I truly believe that my greatest contributions to our great sport are yet to come. These contributions are the stories I’m going to tell you.

My Iditarod posts will come at the rate of 3 per day, once the race gets under way.

Thanks for tuning in–more to follow….



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13 Responses to “Going undercover on the 2011 Iditarod”

  1. Cant wait Jason to follow the journey with you.

  2. Jason,
    Can’t wait to read the posts and read them to my kids. We are anxioiusly awaiting the start.
    Will you be at the banquet this evening? See you then!
    Your avid fan!

    • I can’t wait for you to read them either!!! No, I’m afraid I did not make it up this year–some complications prevented me from hitting the road…

  3. Marlene Phillips-Daniels Reply March 3, 2011 at 10:01

    Jason, Are you covering the race from the great Northland or from Lincoln? I’m always anxious to get info on the race from anyone that really knows anything about dogs and what the race takes to finish.
    I’ve asked before—if you are totally out of dogs, where are they? Granimar

    • Hi Granimar–I’m going to be covering from Lincoln. My dogs are scattered to the 4 winds…some in AK, most of the rest are in the Mid-West with drivers & kennels who love them as much as I do πŸ™‚

      • Marlene Phillips-Daniels March 4, 2011 at 10:47

        Whew-w-w-w that’s a relief. Since I used to view the dogs part of your old site—-WHEN you get time, probably after the Idit. it would be fun to see a “Where are they now” page. I loved the videos you posted on the old site where you were working with the dogs on runs.
        Also, what about your bear dogs?

  4. Just book marked you blog to my favorites!

  5. Howdy Jason
    Dont tell me that you are out of dogs, what happened ?
    You had such a drive and enthusiasm for racing, glad to have been training near you for a few years and racing on Seeley lake races and Iditarod 2007
    I would love to read your stories here during our Last Great race

  6. Be interesting to read you insights. Hugh Neff has broken out to an early lead and Lance is chasing him. He won the Yukon Quest. Think he has a shot at winning the Iditarod?

    • Hi Bob–Sorry for my tardy response time; I’ve been away from the desk for a few weeks πŸ™‚

      I think Lance & Hugh are going to be big big players in this race–would not surprise me to see a Neff victory in the least, though with that said, it’s an awfully long ways to go ’til Nome…

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