Hank DeBruin finishes Iditarod

Hank & the team are on their last run on the way to Nome right on time and it looks like all 10 dogs will be crossing the finish line with him. Maverick, Charlie, Scully, Aster, Hosta, Jed, Howler, Viper, Zeus & Jester. Too bad Lily, Jay, Andy & Strider who have been a vital part of the 1000 mile team for the last 3 years won’t be with the team when they cross the line. BUT Lily will be there in a way as 9 of the 10 finishing dogs are her kids or grandkids. Tanya McCready - wife of musher Hank DeBruin

By Terrance Gavan

12 DAYS AND 13 HOURS

And Hank Debruin is off the Iditarod trail and sleeping warm tonight.

Winterdance Dog Sled Tours workers in Haliburton will be popping some champagne corks today, along with co-owners Hank DeBruin and Tanya McCready.

DeBruin crossed the finish line today in Nome Alaska.

Hank started his Iditarod voyage precisely two weeks ago on a Saturday, March 3, in Anchorage.

The thousand mile journey tracing the pawprints of mushers who delivered lifesaving vaccine to Nome, Alaska during a diptheria epidemic, is one of the most grueling races in the world.

Small wonder then that only 10 dogs – of the original 16 that started the race – will be dragging Hank’s sled across the line today, March 17.

Maverick, Charlie, Scully, Aster, Hosta, Jed, Howler, Viper, Zeus & Jester will be popping the reins as the sled crosses the line this afternoon.

“Too bad Lily, Jay, Andy & Strider who have been a vital part of the 1000 mile team for the last 3 years won’t be with the team when they cross the line. BUT Lily will be there in a way as 9 of the 10 finishing dogs are her kids or grandkids,” says Tanya, via the Winterdance Facebook page.

 

 

 

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2 Responses to Hank DeBruin finishes Iditarod

  1. Karen Whitehead

    just a thought, the dogs really don’t DRAG the sled, this implies a lack of desire these dogs PULL the sled as all they want to do is run!!!!! Your coverage is wonderful of Hank’s adventure, I just find sometimes you try too hard to make it “flowery” and in doing so make it sound inappropriate or inaccurate

  2. Some of us down here in the lower 48 (PA) have been following the adventures of the intrepid Siberians of Winterdance too. I’m pleased to see a few (two, actually, in this Iditarod) mushers still running classic Siberians (an ancient breed; while slower than the Alaskan huskies bred specifically for racing, Siberians are perfectly adapted to the arctic environment, tough and hardy). It was great seeing Hank and Team finish Yukon Quest last year, and Iditarod this year!

    The Serum Run of 1925 ran from Nenana to Nome, Leonard Seppala’s team of Siberian huskies (laughed at by mushers when they first arrived in Alaska, because they were so much smaller than the average freighting dog of the day… they gained respect for their speed, endurance and hardiness… as well as great temperaments) did the longest and most difficult part of the run. The blood of his lead dog Togo, and the rest of his team, flows in nearly every Siberian you see today.

    It might be good to explain (to the uninitiated) what happened to the dogs who were not at the finish! There are vets at checkpoints, constant care and monitoring of dogs’ health and well-being, and mushers will drop dogs who may be tired, ill, or simply not enthusiastic (they’re kept very safe until reunited with the musher’s team).

    Reins? There are no reins! It’s the one thing I learned as I went from training horses (where you control a 1000 pound beastie with reins, legs and body weight) to training my own very small recreational sledding team! You have only your voice (and good brakes!) to control the dogs! They would be hauling like maniacs at the GANGLINE. And they do haul! Dogs naturally pull, some more than others. Mushers choose dogs who love to run and pull, acting rather like coaches to increase their natural athletic ability, carefully planning every step of a 1000 mile journey to ensure their dogs reach the burled arch healthy and happy (a tired husky is a happy husky!).

    Thanks for sharing the story. We’ll be watching for more adventures from Team Winterdance!

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