Running with Champions: A Midlife Journey on the Iditarod Trail

Running with Champions: A Midlife Journey on the Iditarod Trail

by Lisa Frederic

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An inspiring book about dedication, the love of dogs, and the physical endurance and mental toughness needed to run the Iditarod sled dog race -- from a female perspective. Lisa Frederic didn't set out to run the Iditarod. She just fell in love with the event and wanted to help. She ended up working as a volunteer for the Trail Committee at various checkpoints. Then she helped Iditarod champion Jeff King train his puppies. She had never mushed before. She was a rookie, but a rookie with heart and drive. She started out with short races and eventually raced the 1,049 miles from Anchorage to Nome in the Iditarod. Her story speaks to everyone who has ever followed a dream and found that the dream realized is even bigger than the imagined one.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780882408804
Publisher: West Margin Press
Publication date: 02/29/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 858,690
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

Lisa Frederic has been blessed living the Alaskan dream. After coming north for summer employment, she spent the next two decades fishing for wild salmon off the coast of Kodiak Island. She and her husband built a home in an isolated bay, eight hours by boat from the closest town. They make their own electricity and get mail once a week by seaplane. There are more bears than people in their neighborhood. A vacation in 1997 turned Lisa’s life upside down when she visited Nome to see the end of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Five years later she was shocked to find herself committed to driving a dog team across the state. In 2002 she completed the 1,049-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race as a rookie at forty-two years old. These days she writes and gives tours inside Denali National Park, trains sled dogs for Jeff King, and commutes to the ocean waters around Kodiak to fish commercially. Lisa is making plans for her next midlife Adventure.

Read an Excerpt

In January I had raced in the Knik 200, which had followed these first few miles to Yentna Station. I’d only had twelve dogs, but now with four more, I felt like I had put another motor on my skiff. The sled hurled through the birch trees like a missile, and my hands cramped from squeezing the handle bow. After a couple of hours, we crossed Flat Horn Lake and I started seeing mushers parked in the trees. We had traveled more than forty miles, and I knew I should stop because the afternoon was getting warm, but I kept rejecting each good spot I found. As long as we were moving, things were less likely to go wrong. With young dogs most problems occur when you stop, their lines get tangled, or they get into a hassle with the dogs around them. The chances of losing the sled are also highest when you are dealing with such problems, so I was afraid to stop. But it seemed like everyone else in the race was resting in the woods. I started growing disgusted with my fear of stopping, but just could not do it. On and on I went, arguing with myself each time I passed up a good spot to park. I knew I must have gone past Jeff by now and his warning rang in my ears. “Do not pass me!”He had said it in a joking manner, but I knew what he had meant.

Table of Contents

Map - 6 Introduction Learning Curves and a Long, Long Trail - 7 Chapter 1 Not Exactly Bluegrass Country - 9 Chapter 2 A Volunteer on the Iditarod Trail - 14 Chapter 3 Good Coffee, but Short Coffee Breaks - 20 Chapter 4 Bootie Duty and Other Chores - 31 Chapter 5 Return to the Emerald Isle - 40 Chapter 6 Back in the Dog Yard - 44 Chapter 7 More than Gee and Haw - 48 Chapter 8 The Puppies and I - 58 Chapter 9 300 Miles?in a Day or Two - 66 Chapter 10 Baby Blue Eyes - 74 Chapter 11 Adrift - 81 Chapter 12 The Christmas Bash - 88 Chapter 13 Ten Dogs, Ten Times - 99 Chapter 14 Still Just a Little Girl - 109 Chapter 15 Finally?the Iditarod Start - 124 Chapter 16 The Ring of Warnings - 129 Chapter 17 An Iditarod Twist - 134 Chapter 18 Chilling Advice - 139 Chapter 19 Alone and Yet Not - 148 Chapter 20 No, the Insane Part Isn’t Over Yet - 155 Chapter 21 A View from the Back - 163 Chapter 22 Iditarod Pion - 168 Chapter 23 Cold, Dark Trails to Ophir - 173 Chapter 24 Takotna to Cripple?the Long Way - 178 Chapter 25 Among the Best - 186 Chapter 26 The Wonder of Fine Company - 193 Chapter 27 Scent of the Sea - 198 Chapter 28 Possibilities - 205 Chapter 29 Wind - 209 Chapter 30 Final Steps - 218 Epilogue Last Run - 222 Postscript - 223 About the Author – 224

What People are Saying About This

Joe Runyan

"If you wanted to run the 1,200 mile Iditarod with a crazed 850-pound team of sixteen huskies-then read Lisa Frederic's superb account of misadventures and success. She's forty, slightly built, a rookie completely new to the sport, but full of resolve. After a winter's apprentice with Iditarod Champ Jeff King, she runs the Iditarod-and reminds me that great adventures are more than just good planning."
1989 Iditarod Champion

Gary Paulsen

"This is an inspiring story of a middle-aged woman who sets out to live her dream-pushing herself beyond her own physical and emotional limits-to achieve something she never thought possible. A great journey to follow."

Stan Hooley

"I thoroughly enjoyed this vivid account of a spirited individual with a zest for life who managed to go from curious observer of the Iditarod to crossing under the burled arch in Nome herself in just a few short years. I have a hunch some unsuspecting reader of this book will one day make such a life journey of his or her own."
Executive Director, Iditarod Trail Committee

Jeff King

"For Lisa, the dogs were champions long before they won a race. Their journey, hers and the dogs, needed no trophy to celebrate success. This is a great story for anyone who dreams of 'doing it' - no matter what 'It' is. If I had a tail, I'd be wagging it!"
won his fourth Iditarod with Salem winning the coveted Golden Harness Award 2006

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