By: Kaitlin Daly
Although the relocation of the Jr. Iditarod made big news this year, even bigger may be Dakota Schlosser’s impressive run. KTNA’s Kaitlin Daly spoke with the young musher, and has this story:
This year, Susitna Valley High School student Dakota Schlosser ran the Jr. Iditarod. This race is open to all teenagers from the age of 14-17 and acts as a qualifying requirement to run the Iditarod in the next year. As a consequence, the race provides plenty of rigor and competition for all of those who enter. Dakota states that the amount of time it takes to run the race, although seemingly short, requires months of practice ahead of time.
“I started training this summer–June probably–and I’ve worked all year. Got my dog team built up.”
This year the race began three miles in on the Denali Highway where the teams then mushed in to Alpine Creek Lodge, approximately 65 miles away. From there teams were required to take their 10 hour mandatory layover before mushing back. Along this total of 130 miles Dakota said he saw a lot of the amazing sights Alaska has to offer, but something far simpler was his favorite part.
“I’d have to say the best part was probably coming into the finish line, because I was done.”
While perhaps the greatest victory is simply finishing the race and being able to take it off of his bucket list, Dakota made memories with his 12 hour and 42 min finish.
“I got fourth place and Rookie of the Year, and I was the only rookie in the top five, so that was pretty good.”
With these accomplishments under his belt Dakota plans to run again next year before pursuing his passion in the 2017 Iditarod.