Veteran Iditarod musher Josh McNeal has announced that he will be withdrawing from the 2024 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race® due to a torn labrum. “Thankfully the tear is relatively small, and should hopefully heal with time and physical therapy. However, given the current state of pain, and the possibility of damaging it further… I have decided to withdraw from this year’s Iditarod. To say I’m devastated is an understatement, however it is the best for the long term goals of the kennel, as well as my health,” says McNeal in a recent Facebook post.
With final approval given from the Iditarod Qualifying Review Board, Iditarod’s Race Director, Mark Nordman and Iditarod’s new Race Marshal, Warren Palfrey, Iditarod Veteran Walter Robinson will be driving McNeal’s sled dog team for the 2024 Iditarod. Robinson not only competed in and finished the Iditarod in 2001, but he is also the father of Emily Robinson, the Champion of the 2022 and 2023 Jr. Iditarod and recent Champion of the 2024 Knik 200.
The Iditarod Trail Committee will miss watching Josh on the trail this year and hopes he has a speedy and complete recovery. The ITC welcomes Walter back to the Iditarod Trail and wishes him a great run for Iditarod 52.