Sunday, March 9, 2008

Iditarod Memories

Susan Butcher - Part 1

If you live in northern climes and find yourself unable to get out hunting in your qajatuinaq, then what about hitching up the old kimupsik and heading out on the trail. Which trail, you ask? Why the Iditarod trail, of course! The race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska is running right now with many of the old hands still contenders. Much like kayaking, once a person gets involved, the passion grips tight and people stay with the sport seemingly forever.

One person who raced for years and won on four different years was Susan Butcher. Unfortunately Susan died from leukemia during the summer of 2006, but up until then she was the most incredible lady. Warm and caring for both her dogs and fellow racers, she was the spirit of the Iditarod. I followed her adventure every year with my classroom of kids. We cheered her on and tried to make her spirit ours for as long as we could. With International Women's Day just behind us, it's good to know there were - and still are - women like Susan challenging all of us to make a more exciting and interesting world out there!

No comments: