Saturday, 30 June 2007

June 30, 2007 This One's For Snickers

Well, I was poking around Wasilla today and ended up stumbling into Iditarod Headquarters. Low and behold, it was the opening day of sign up for the '08 Iditarod. I signed what I thought was an autograph and next thing I knew I was signed up for the Race!!!

Okay, that isn't quite how it happened - in fact, nothing like how it happened. To be perfectly honest, the decision to run the 2008 Iditarod was made in Grayling before my name was ever signed on the paperwork to scratch from the 2007 Race. I always knew that the team and I owed Snickers a trip to Nome. I wasn't ready to do it for her in the days following her death last year, so there was no doubt that it was to be this year.

When I got back off the trail last year, one of the first calls I received was from my friend and mentor, Jamie Nelson. Jamie doesn't often scratch from races - doesn't really believe in it and I knew she was going to call me to task for not taking the team to Nome despite what happened in Grayling. "Your going to give me heck for scratching, aren't you?", I said. "I'm going to tell you what Snickers would have wanted." - was her reply. "No"
I answered, "I'll tell you. She would have wanted me to take the team to Nome in a matter and style that would make her proud - and we couldn't do that this year. So we will be back next year to honor her." There was silence for a minute and then she said, "That's a good plan."

I never said anything earlier because I wanted to make sure that after everything settled down I still felt the same way - I do.

When I filled out my 2008 Iditarod entry form there is a big spot to write a bit about yourself, your dogs, why you are running the race, etc. There are only two words on my form this year - "For Snickers".

So here we come 2008 Iditarod. This one is for Snickers.


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