An online poll was conducted on the North Wapiti Yahoo News Group regarding how many of Karen's dogs will finish the Iditarod this year of the sixteen she will start the race with. Here are the results and some additional feedback from the musher.
POLL QUESTION: How many dogs will Karen finish this year's Iditarod with?
CHOICES AND RESULTS
- 16 dogs, 2 votes - 6.67%
- 14-15 dogs, 17 votes, 56.67%
- 12-13 dogs, 11 votes, 36.67%
- 10-11, 0 votes, 0.00%
- 9 or less, 0 votes, 0.00%
Well, I hope that none of you are going to be disappointed.....
Finishing Iditarod with a large team of dogs is in of itself a big accomplishment - often one that is not compatible with fast finishes. It often requires spending extra time at checkpoints for individual dogs and makes for a lot of extra work (translation - little sleep) for the muster.
In 2001 our goal was to finish with the 'biggest, healthiest and happiest' dog team I could. I did that - 15 healthy, happy dogs barking in the doglot in Nome, looking like they could turn around and do it all again.
This year that isn't the goal. Certainly a happy, healthy team is a mandatory part of the equation, but I anticipate if we reach our goal of an under 12 day Iditarod, the team will not be near so large and we will all be a lot more tired then in 2001. Me - I'd vote for a 10 - 11 dog finish.