After completing the South Pole expedition, Wendy become very endeared to the dogs that had been such an important component of the its success. She became fascinated with the history and sport of the Iditarod dog sled race that takes place over 1,150 miles of rough, beautiful Alaskan terrain.
Jagged mountain ranges… frozen rivers… dense forests… desolate tundra… and miles of windswept coast face the mushers and their dog teams. Every March the teams set out each team of 12 to 16 dogs and their musher over the course of 10 to 17 days. Consider temperatures far below zero, winds that can cause a complete loss of visibility, the hazards of overflow, long hours of darkness and treacherous climbs and side hills, and you have the Iditarod!
What fascinated Wendy even more was the history of the race. In 1925, long before the race started in 1973, part of the Iditarod Trail became a life saving highway for the citizens of Nome. Diphtheria threatened the lives of the people, most especially the children who had no defense for the “white man’s disease.” A serum had to be brought in from Anchorage by intrepid dog mushers and their faithful hard-driving dogs. The 674 miles from Anchorage to Nome took only 5 ½ hours with the dogs taking turns in relays every 100 miles or so. Countless lives were saved.
Wendy thought how amazing it would be to get her message of courage in the face of adversity, especially for those stricken with MS, during this amazing venue! Originally, she had hoped to run in the 2015 race and headed to Alaska in September of 2012 to begin the rigorous training with two of the sport’s best. Dean Osmar and Lance Mackey. Sadly as happens in life and in business – Wendy lost the funding from her sponsor due to corporate restructuring and had to leave Alaska with this adventure unfulfilled.
Never one to take quitting lightly, now the Iditarod remains on Wendy’s “to do list” as she continues on with her mission to assist others who are looking to get past their limitations. This remains a priority because Wendy loves the idea of bringing relief from pain just as the original serum run accomplished.
It has been called the “Last Great Race on Earth” and is not just a dog sled race, it’s a race in which unique men and women compete from all walks of life each with their own story, each with their own reasons for going the distance.