The ARHA Little Pack World Hunt is next week and once again the anticipation is building. As I read the post below about the Iditarod, I couldn't help but notice the similarities to training beagles. A lot of dogs have the breeding and ability to win, but only one will. It seems like so often, the trainer is what makes the difference.
And, a week from now, a lot of beaglers that tried so hard to win it all will have to live with their loss. They will have to wait for another year until they get another chance.
He can see the village of Koyuk on the hill in front of him. Has been able to see it since he left Shaktoolik; a mirage that never seems to get closer. Once he arrives, he's only one more run to White Mountain and an eight-hour break that fixes everything. Then it's Nome and the finish line. He's that close.
But when he turns around, he can see another dog team. It's hard to tell how close, there's nothing but miles of sea ice, no landmarks to compare, and the air waves rising off the ice are like staring down an Arizona highway. For the first couple hours, he hoped it was his imagination, or a snow machine; but now it's clear. It's a dog team. Dallas Seavey, dressed in jet black befitting a movie villain, is gaining.
There's a lot going through Aaron's mind right now. It would be an emotional run anyway, getting passed from behind is one of the most demoralizing things that can happen to a team. When you add in the fatigue, hunger and the cold, emotions become much stronger.
At it's core, the Iditarod is not a dog race. It's a human race. There are a lot of excellent dog teams, many could win, and every year, it becomes more clear that it's the musher who makes the difference. So what does that mean if you're the one who loses? Only one team can win. The other 20 (those that are actually trying to win) all have to lose. They have to live with that for another year.
You can read the entire article HERE.
Image from Seavey's IdidaRide Sled Dog Tours