My brother set out on his fourth Iditarod Sled Dog Race this morning, leading a team of 15 dogs 1,150 miles through the frozen tundra of the Great White North. As a recent profile in the local Anchorage paper made clear, he’s not going to win.
To put it in cycling terms, it’s like if you, by some miracle, found yourself riding in the Tour de France.
You know you’re not going to win. But you’re still competing on equal terms with the best riders in the world.
And what could be more cool than that?
Only this. Imagine competing in that race in some of the most forbidding conditions on earth, through snow up to 12 feet deep and temperatures far below freezing, if not far below zero. And your only companions are a team of dogs — experienced athletes in their own right, who love racing every bit as much as you do.
You can follow his progress by visiting the official Iditarod website, and clicking on the link reading View Full Current Standings link. Just look for the name Eric Rogers, bib number 60 — which was also his starting position.
As I write this, he’s just under 4 hours into what should be somewhere around an 8 to 10 day race. And he’s already moved up 25 spots to 35th place.
He won’t win.
But damn, I’m proud of him.