Hello Iditarod fans,
o.k. I am addicted after all. After racing the Iditarod for 7 years and than deciding to get out, I found myself on a snowmachine last year following the race as the ” Armchair Musher “. It for sure gave me a different vantage point and I had fun with writing and posting pictures.
While following the Quest I got encouraged to follow the Iditarod also. A friend started a fund raiser to raise money for me to cover the Iditarod too. That was greatly appreciated.
But along the way, I found myself in a tricky position. All for sudden there were voices of how great my reporting was, even voices ” better than the insider ” and quite honestly I felt very uneasy with that. More so, I disagree with that, the Insider Crew does a phenomenal job. The last thing I wanted to do, was take away on the great reporting which is done via the Insider and the dedicated and hard work which has gone into that project. I wanted to add to the event, not take away from something good. Covering the trail on a snowmachine is an expensive adventure, never mind the equipment needed from a good reliable snowmachine, to a bgan Satellite uplink unit, cameras, laptop etc. My sled is packed with ” tech stuff ” and only very little personal items, as same as being a musher, there is not much time to be comfortable or overly concerned ” how I look “. Matter of fact I was amazed how hard it is, to even keep up with the mushers on the trail, as traveling on a snowmachine is often not much faster, specially if you do not want to get in the way. It is a very tricky balance. The race needs media coverage. With modern technology ” we can take fans on the trail “. But no doubt, a snowmachine on the trail is a distraction for the mushers, can be an outright burden, if I happen to be on the trail in the wrong place, at the wrong time. If the Yukon River is blown in, and I happen to pass a few mushers, they are going to be happy to see me, to re-break the trail for them. If the trail packed and just has a thin hard crust over top which than gets ” chewed ” up by my track, they curse me ( and I used to curse the snowmachiners more than once ), as a teams speed in that situation can easily drop up to 2 mph. All this considered, as much fun as I had and as much encouragement I got to keep on doing this, I had early on decided to not follow the races on a snowmachine again. In the Quest I volunteered as a judge and very much enjoyed that experience, yet another vantage point
Now thanks to a very dedicated board member of the Iditarod, who kept on asking me to go on the trail again, we did the in my opinion logical move, to me be part of the Iditarod Insider team. I hope to add to the experience and I feel much more comfortable to be working alongside the already great Insider Crew who is out on the trail. Thanks for following and thanks for helping ” The Last Great Race “ through your subscriptions to the Insider. Really looking forward to be on the trail again!
” The Armchair Musher ” Sebastian