by Martha Dobson
Noah Pereira of Clarkson, NY is the 2013 Jr. Iditarod Champion. Training with Dallas Seavey since his December arrival in Alaska with his dad, Noah, Conway Seavey, and Jenny Greger raced for first place. “I left (Yentna) a few minutes after they did and caught up to them.” Passing Greger, then Seavey, Pereira ran the last 10 miles with his team, kicking and poling across Willow Lake for the finish. Of his dogs, all Seavey dogs, Pereira says he was worn out running with them, but they, being used to running 600 miles, could have kept on going.
Interviewed after a phone call to his mom at home, Pereira says the most amazing experience during the race was just being with the dogs out there. At home with his 9 dogs, Noah runs sprint races. The Jr. Iditarod, a long distance race of 150 miles, required Noah to learn how to camp on the trail, a skill not needed for sprinters. He emphatically agreed that learning camping skills was a big learning curve.
Next for Noah is the Finishers Banquet for the Jr. Iditarod, driving the first sled in the Ceremonial Start of the Iditarod on March 2 in Anchorage, and attending the Iditarod Finishers Banquet in Nome, where his win will be recognized at that huge gathering of race fans and competitors.