November 20, 2017

Eye on the Trail: Jimmy Lebling in Nome

Rookie Jimmy Lebling at the Burled Arch

Rookie Jimmy Lebling is in Nome. Lebling arrived with a smile and twelve dogs on his gangline. Lebling has been saving all of his adult life to afford Iditarod. Under the arch he said he didn’t want it to end. Everything went very well from Fairbanks to Nome for Lebling and his canine athletes. Lebling told the Insider crew, “We were all rookies. It was the first time for me on the Iditarod trail doing a 1,000-mile race and it was the first time for all the dogs. We did very well. It was all good.”

Jimmy has spent most of his adult life in Alaska working as a commercial fisherman. He’s been a tour guide and dog handler for 20 of those years with his eye on the Iditarod trail.

Jimmy says, “Everything was good.  I didn’t want it to end.”

Lebling is sporting a cast on his right wrist. Seems that he broke a bone when his sled tipped over. Human doctors and x-ray machines are few and far between on the trail. Lebling had a cast applied by someone he called a horse vet. Lebling had good strength and dexterity despite the injury. He continued in the race as scratching wasn’t an option he was going to consider. It took a little longer to boot the dogs but he worked through it.

Jimmy claimed 60th place with a time of 12 days and 19 minutes. Jimmy was running dogs from Kathleen Frederick who attempted Nome in 2010.

Stay tuned, the final four are on their way from Safety to Nome.