ROOKIE MUSHER MAKES HISTORY
First Rookie To Complete The Yukon Quest And Iditarod In Same Year
ALASKA (March 17, 2011) – After more than two thousand miles and 24 days behind a dog team, Jodi Bailey has set a new mushing record – she becomes the first musher to successfully run both long-distance sled dog races, the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod, in the same year, as a rookie.
There are numerous challenges to the rookies - managing the team, caring for the dogs and taking care of themselves. But through it all, Jodi has maintained her smile and sense of humor. “It’s not how many times you fall, it’s how many times you smile and get back up,” she commented an Iditarod Insider video clip, after crashing on the final of three Happy River Steps.
After Lance Mackey won his first Iditarod title in the same year as winning the Yukon Quest, a “double” run has become a bit less unusual. Nonetheless, only eighteen other women have run both races, and only one, Kelley Griffin, has done them both in the same year. No musher in history has run them both successfully in the same year on their first try.
While this years’ Yukon Quest will go down as one of the toughest in history, the Iditarod has had gentler weather. Still, the running of one doesn’t totally prepare you for the other. “I have had to really study both races in order to make race plans for each that are hopefully realistic and will allow me to reach my goal of completing both with happy, healthy dogs,” she said before the Quest.
For Jodi, and her husband and kennel partner Dan Kaduce, dog mushing is much more than a race – it is a labor of love. “I love my dogs dearly,” she stated, “and to be able to go out and travel long distances with them, through some of the most beautiful country on earth, is an honor.”
For the pair and their dogs, the journey begins long before they step onto the runners. “It has been both fun and humbling to see how people have really been willing to encourage and support me in this dream. I have met some wonderful people, who are just great fans of mushing, or are interested in the marathon dog races, and have wanted to be a part of this dream. Each sponsor we have is really a part of our team, making this great adventure happen, and we are very thankful for all of them.”
Jodi and Dan maintain Dew Claw Kennel outside Chatanika, Alaska with their numerous Alaskan Huskies, and may be contacted at at www.dewclawkennel.com
The Iditarod official website is www.iditarod.com
The Yukon Quest official website at www.yukonquest.com