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April 24, 2003     Cuba Free Press
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April 24, 2003

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14B--April 24, 2003 Explore the adventure of the Iditarod Continuing the adventure the students of Cuba Middle School wrote stories about the Iditarod. More stories will appear next week. Jeff King and the Iditarod race By daimie Donahue, Umberto Ramirez, Billie Crider, and Brad Gruver Jeff King, a three time Iditarod Champion, moved to Alaska in 1975 in search of an adventure. He was drawn towards mushing in 1976, and that's when it all started. He won twelfth place in 1991 in the Iditarod Dog Sled Race. In 1992 he decided to put full time and energy into training and racing. His first victory was in 1993, and he won first place. His second victory was in 1998. King has logged more than 100,000 miles on a dog sled dur- ing the past twenty years. His family consists of a wife named Donna Gates and three daughters, Cali, 18; Teresa, 16; and Ellen, 11. Cali is a Jr. Iditarod Champion. Her place is thirtieth. She also has raced against her dad in the Yukon 300. She personally got to watch her dad win. Cali will be joining her dad again this year during the Iditarod. She may be the only King running before long. Before the Iditarod Race Cali and Jeff put their dogs booties on, hook the dogs up, and pray that they will be all right and make it through the race. This year Cali and Jeff hope towin the race. Jim Lanier By Jeremy Prince, Julia Willmann, Brandy Pohlmann, Mike Fey, Dillon Halbert Can you imagine at racing the Iditarod at age 63? Jim Lanier is still racing in the 1000 mile Iditarod race in Alaska and keeping a job as a med- ical doctor. His interests are music, medicine, and mushing. Jim and his wife Anna beth race in the great Iditared. He has four children in his family too. They are Jimmy, Margaret, Kim, and Willy. Jim now lives in Chugiak. Jim was born in Washington, D.C., in 1940 and then moved and was raised in Fargo, North Dakota. He then got a medical degree in 1967. Jim later became involved in mushing after hearing about it from a friend in 1977. He became a musher in the Iditared of 78/then mushed in 79,' 84,' 98,' 99,' 99,' 01 and finished in the forties. His best race was in 02. He came in twenty-fifth place. Jim is now going to race in 2003 for the win. Since Jim likes challenging adventures, his motto is "Never go first class!" Ken Anderson By Jill Libhart, Erin Stubblefield, Josh Pilkenton, and Holden Alvey Ken Anderson, Iditarod musher, started mush- ing at the age of three. Both of Ken's parents were dog sled mushers. Now Anderson is racing his third year in the 2003 Iditarod. Ken Anderson was born in Minnesota. He didn't get interested in dog sled racing until his dad bought him a book on the Iditarod when he was fourteen. Anderson began college in Minnesota, then came to Alaska in. 1993 and finished at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. The reason he came to Alaska was to volunteer for the Iditarod. Anderson worked for three-time champion Jeff King. Ken Anderson ran in the Iditarod for the first time in 1999 and finished 26th. After that he won the Canadian Championship in Yellowknife, fol- lowed by the World Cup in 2001. Then in the year 2002, Anderson was about to finish 14th place in the Iditared, but he got frostbite on his foot. Anderson stalled; therefore, he finished 18th place. This year for the Iditarod he is training a kennel of 60 dogs. The lead dogs for this is are Oreo and Nuik. Now he has a wife named Gwen who also ran the Iditarod race in 2001. Lead dog training By Courtney Groom, Amber Johnson, Danial Hinson, Samantha Love Gary Paulsen, an author, has trained dogs for the Iditarod. At eighteen months old, Storm, Gary's dog, is finally old enough to pull the sled. He is the lead dog of Gary Paulson's team. Storm begins training for the lead dog position. Gary has been working all year for the Iditarod. He feeds Storm raw meat and fat. None of the dogs can be fed dry dog food because when they run, their stomachs tighten. Then the piece of hard dry dog food cuts them inside, and they can bleed. Gary goes out on different trails and works on the dog's commands. Then depending on the day of the week the dogs receive bones. They receive bones every other day of the week. Gary Paulson trains, feeds, and takes care of his team of Alaskan sled dogs. You have special care for the lead dogs. Storm was picked after practicing high in the mountains. He was smartest and had the best per- sonality and endurance. These are some qualities a musher looks for in a lead dog. Storm is one of the 16 dogs that make up Paulson's team. Storm is not easily distracted. This is also a good quality in a lead dog. When training began, Storm had to learn the commands and what they meant. He took different trails learninl how to lead mushers and dogs through harsh weather. If Gary were to get a new dog, Storm would be able to correct the new dog's mistakes. Storm has total control. Gary had to learn to speak in a loud calm voice. If you yell at them, the dogs will become stubborn and not move. If you decide to become a musher it takes a lot of dedication, time, money, and a lot of patience. Mandatory items By James Ousley, Pare Hollinsworth, Lance Williams, Destiny Henderson Thousands of dogs are leaving Fairbanks, Alaska, pulling sleds in the Iditarod Race. The mushers are carrying seven mandatory items, or they will be disqualified from the race. When the mnsher's 16 dogs start pulling the sled, the musher must have eight booties per dog on the dogs' feet or in the sled. Most of the booties cost $1.00 to $4.00 per bootie. That means the musher must pay about $8.00 or more per dog. The dogs are either pulling a toboggan or a bas- ket sled. The sled must be able to carry the seven mandatory items and anything else the musher takes. They use ganglines and harnesses to connect the to the sled. One of the main mandatory items is the cooker and the pot. It must be able to boil three gallons of water. They need the cooker to cook their food and the dogs' food. Another mandatory item is an axe. It must, weigh a minimum of 1-_ pounds and have a handle-.- at least 22 inches long. That might use it to chop a fallen tree out of the way. Next, a musher must have a sleeping bag that is good enough for a musher to survive the sub-zero weather. In sub-zero weather there is snow so you also need a pair of snowshoes, so you won't get frostbite on your feet. You also need promotional material provided by the ITC so you can be identi- fied during the race. Last, you need a veterinarian notebook to record the status of the dogs, so the vet- erinarians can see how the dogs are. Rick Swenson By daylene Osborn, Becky Sagel, Roy Heads, Robbie Eickelman, Emma Klouzek Rick Swenson is a five-time Iditarod champion. He has participated in the Iditarod since 1976 and is participating in it this year. He has only missed one race since he started. He is 52 years old and was bern in Minnesota. His hobbies include gold mining and dog training. He got involved in the Iditarod when he came to Alaska in 1973 to run sled dogs. He is the father of three kids: Andy, who is 18; Kevin, who is 13; and Kirsten, who is 20. The race started March 3rd in Alaska. It usually starts in Anchorage, but there was no snow on part of the trail this year, so they moved the location of the beginning of the race to Fairbanks. There are 27 checkpoints, and the race is 1,049 miles long. Robert Sorlie By Dwayne Looney, Kevin Ijames, Victor Marquez, and John Swaller Robert Sorlie is a good new musher and has a proud team of dogs and people. He started racing in dogsled races in 1970. He started thinking about the Iditarod 10 years ago. His first Iditarod was last year when he got Rookie of the Year. He is also a three-time winner of Norway's Finnocksplut. At home, he works at International airport as a firefighter. He's a father of two boys. His youngest is Hakau, 13, and Majnus is 18. Sorlie has a team of five other people to help prepare for the Iditarod. They are Eric Skoving and BJ Ornar Anderson. His coordinator is Yngue Fagerl. His public relation man is Frode Galaaer, and their Webmaster is Christain Engelschion. They plan to take home the win for the team. The other part of the team is the dogs. Sorlie brought 18 dogs this year. He brought extra in case one of the dogs got ill or injured. He has eight lead "A dogs", nine lead "B dogs," and one team dog. The two extra dogs that Sorlie brought were Sabena and Kirio. He had a good dog team this year and won the Iditarod at 13:1:47:36 with 8 dogs. Environmental risks By Megan Umfress, Ryan Turntine, Hannah Baker, and Kathy DeWitt Have you ever been attacked by an en-raged moose? It could happen to you if you ran the Iditarod. The most common problem while running in the Iditarod is frostbite. Frostbite can occur when cold is exposed to the skin. Frostbite can also make you lose fingers and toes or other body parts. Another problem that can occur on the trail is hypothermia. If you get into trouble, like falling into a river or stream, you need to make sure you have an extra change of clothes. If not dealt with seriously, hypothermia can result in death. Another thing to look out for is sharp rocks or ice. These can be harmful to the dog's feet. In 1983 author Gary Paulsen raced in the lditarod By Thomas Verdu, Mikel Brand, Mary Beth Callahan, Danielle Bond Born May 17, 1939, Gary Paulsen was never a very good student. He developed the passion for writing when a librarian gave him a book with his library card. He relies on life experiences for his books. He heard about the Iditarod Race from many mushers. "You don't really sleep on the trail; you just doze because you have to keep an eye on the dogs," said a fellow racer. Paulsen had decided to race in the Iditarod because of his love for dogs, His heart was getting worse, so he said this was his last chance. "I hope to draw from my future experience in this race to help me become a better writer," he said before the Iditarod. In 1983 and 1985, Gary Paulsen raced in the Iditarod. He has shared many of his views through his books. One of the books he has written about his adventures is Woodsong. It tells all about his experience with dogs and nature before and during his Iditarod race. He thrives on writing for young people. He says that he describes even the littlest thing for the readers to be able to picture them- selves being there. He lives in La Luz, New Mexico, with his wife, Ruth. He has written over 175 books and 200 arti- cles about his experiences with dogs and the Iditarod. On his ranch in La Luz, New Mexico, he enjoys horseback riding and sled racing with a three-wheeled cart. At the age of sixty-three he is still writing for young teens, and he doesn't plan on stopping now. Musher GB Jones By Tim Hebert, Erin Heitman, Aimee Bridgernan, Robert Pogue At the age of 54, GB Jones marks his fourth year in the 2003 Iditarod. The Iditarod is made up of 1,049 miles of rough terrain. Jones started prepar- ing his dogs for the harsh weather of Alaska three years ago. Some of them have run in the Iditarod with him in past years. GB Jones was born in Utah. He has been to many places in his life. He has traveled around the world twice and taught kayaking. He also lived in Australia for two years. After that he moved to Alaska in 1976 where he now lives. He currently manages Arctic Kennels and operates his own farm. This caring man par- ticipates in many different kinds of fundraisers. 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