May 23, 2018

Musher Details

2014 Iditarod » Mushers » Cindy Abbott

Cindy Abbott

Bib Number: 46
Hometown: Willow, Alaska


Cindy Abbott, 58, was born and raised in Nebraska. After graduation from California State University, Fullerton, with a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology in 1996, she became a professor there and taught Health Science for 23 years. Cindy has always been drawn to the world of extreme sports. Already an extreme scuba diver and underwater videographer, in 2007, at the age of 48, she took up mountain climbing with the single goal of standing on the top of the world. A few months after she began training, Cindy was diagnosed with a serious and rare disease (Wegener’s granulomatosis), but she was determined to achieve her dream and on May 23, 2010, after 51 days of working her way up the mountain, Cindy stepped onto the summit of Mt. Everest holding the National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD) banner.

Cindy learned about the Iditarod in the early 1990’s, while taking an Environmental Exercise Physiology course. But it wasn’t until 2004, that she came to Alaska and took her first ride on a dog sled. In 2011, she began working under Lance Mackey’s Comeback Kennel. She immediately fell in love with the sport, the Alaskan people and culture, but most of all; she fell in love with the world’s most amazing athletes – the dogs!

On March 3, 2013, Cindy started her first Iditarod. About 20 miles out, she injured her leg and thought that she may have to scratch at the first checkpoint. After resting for a few hours, she felt better and decided to run to the next checkpoint. In this way, Cindy went from checkpoint to checkpoint until, on day 10 and 630 miles into the race, her condition worsened and, for the safety of her team, she scratched at Kaltag. When she got back to Anchorage, she was told that her pelvis was broken in two places!

Running under Vern Halter and Susan Whiton’s Dream a Dream Dog Farm, Cindy started her second Iditarod on March 2, 2014. Unfortunately Mother Nature made the race course usually challenging and Cindy injured her shoulder, and, for the safety of her team, she scratched at Rohn.

On March 7, 2015, Cindy started her third Iditarod. After 13 days, 11 hours, 19 minutes, 51 seconds, she crossed the finish line in Nome and received the Red Lantern Award, a symbol of perseverance. After, extinguishing the Widow’s Lantern, officially ending the race, Cindy got her NORD banner photo standing under the Burled Arch. Vern Halter, “Third time’s a charm.”
“Alaska and the dogs have captured my heart and soul,” said Cindy. After 5 years of living and working in California while training and racing in Alaska, Cindy and her husband, Larry, have moved to Willow, Alaska. They have built a home just 6 miles from Dream a Dream Dog Farm so she could be close to the dogs and continue racing.

Since her diagnosis, Cindy has become a very active rare disease awareness advocate for the National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD). She also enjoys mountain climbing, SCUBA diving and international travel.

2014 Standings

Checkpoint Time In Dogs In Time Out Dogs Out Rest Time Previous Layover Status Distance
Enroute Time Speed (mph) 8hr 24hr
Anchorage 3/01 11:36:00 12
Willow 3/02 15:28:00 14
Yentna Station 3/02 19:15:00 14 3/02 22:17:00 14 3h 2m 3h 47m 11.10 42
Skwentna 3/03 01:23:00 14 3/03 08:07:00 14 6h 44m 3h 6m 9.68 30
Finger Lake 3/03 12:57:00 14 3/03 19:30:00 14 6h 33m 4h 50m 8.28 40
Rainy Pass 3/03 23:42:00 14 3/04 07:31:00 14 7h 49m 4h 12m 7.14 30
Rohn 3/04 17:05:00 14 9h 34m 3.66 Scratched 35