"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Saturday, February 22, 2014

And they're off

By the time my neighbor Ashley pulls the snow hook and her dog team zooms up the trail, I'll be on my way to Halibut Cove.  She just turned 14 years old before Christmas, and this is her first Junior Iditarod race.  The race is 150 miles, with one ten hour mandatory layover.

Once she starts, she's on her own.   She is not allowed to receive any assistance--verbal or otherwise.  She has to care for her dogs, feeds them, melt snow for water, plus feed herself.

If you're reading this, cheer for Ashley and follow the race progress at http://jriditarod.com/   Also at this site, you"ll find racer photos, the rules of the race, and much more.

Ashley Guernsey 

Ashley informed her parents at age six that this is what she wanted to do, and her interest has not lessened but increased.   She attends  school in Seward, which means two hours of her day is the long bus ride into town.   She's an honor student and all her dog training is done after hours and on weekends.

There are a lot of people who believe in Ashley and I'm one of them.   I can't tell you how proud of her I am.


  1. UPDATE: Ashley is in fifth place at the half-way point, only 17 minutes behind the leader Conway Seavey, one of the famous Seavey mushing family.

  2. I'm wishing her the best; she surely deserves it. Sounds like she's a winner in many ways.

  3. UPDATE: Ashley finished in 7th place, gaining a ton of experience. Wait till next year!!!

  4. Jeanne, please tell Ashley that I think she did fantastic and I am proud of her. As the youngest woman competing, and against mostly guys who were older and more experienced, she has something to be proud of. Running the race alone is quite a feat for a 14 year old. She will only improve in the future.

  5. Looks to me like Ashley can see lots-of-room-at-the-top finishing 7th on her first go-around! Ah Yes! This Saturday the 1st of March THE IDITAROD begins. What a race. Smiles .. Cap and Patti ..

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