Picking a Musher

Hi Boys and Girls,

Wow, it’s almost race time.  Are you getting ready to follow the race?  Do you have a  favorite musher?  If you’re following the race in your classroom, you may be able to pick a musher to follow.  Some classes follow a couple of teams and in some classes each student picks a team to follow.  With 60+ mushers to pick from, how do you know who to pick?  Well, I’ve listed a few tips that may help you pick the right musher for you.

  1. Look for similar interests- Read the musher bios on the Iditarod site.  Pick someone who has similar interests or hobbies that you do.  Find someone who’s from the same state you live in. Or maybe their non-mushing job is something you would like to do some day- teacher, be in the military, pilot, etc.  Really read the bios and find something that says “this person is for me”.
  2. Look for something familiar- Pick someone with the same name as yours or who looks like a family member.
  3. Take a chance on a rookie.  You never know which Rookie will be the “Rookie of the year” or a future top finisher.  Most rookies have been planning for years to run the Iditarod and have set goals for themselves.  Try to find out what their goal for the race is.
  4. Pick for a musher with a website- If you are going to have to write a biography, or a report about your musher, this is a good way to make sure you have enough information to write a good report.  You will also be able to see pictures of your musher and the team.  Many times, someone will update the website during the race so you can get stories about your musher and how the race is going for them.
  5. The middle and back of the pack- Some of the best stories along the trail come from the middle and the back of the pack.  Most of these mushers do not intend to win the race.  They have set finishing the race as one their goals.  If they have run the race before, their goal is probably to finish in a better position and time than before.  These are certainly mushers to look at when picking someone to follow.
  6. Picking a winner-  Everyone loves a winner and loves to win.  You need to remember that just because someone has won or placed high in the race before doesn’t mean the same will happen this year.  This is a race where anything can happen and anyone can scratch- even the best.  A plus to picking a past winner or top placer, is that they probably have a website and/or there is lots of information about them that you can use for your any reports you might have to write.

I hope this helps you pick a musher that is right for you. Most important thing is to have fun.  Also, be positive about the race your musher is running.  He or she may not be winning but may be running the race to the plan or goal the made for themselves.

Once you pick a musher, write me and let me know who you picked.  I can’t wait to hear from you. Also, check back tomorrow for an article on how to track your musher.

Have fun,