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L-188
Topic Author
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Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Thu Mar 17, 2005 3:07 am

For those who don't know, the Iditaron is arguable the most famous Alaskan sporting evet. This is a distance dog sled race from Anchorage to Nome Alaska, a Distance of some 1000 miles. PETA hates if of course, which gives a chance for all of us to give that terror group the finger.

Anyway today a winner crossed the line.

This morning Robert Sorlie from Norway crossed the finish line at Nome. Finishing the race with 8 dogs remaining on the team, and completing the course in 9 days 18 hours and 33 minutes, at a speed of 4.6 miles per hour. Currently there are about 3 other teams on the trail from the last checkpoint in Safety and Nome. This is the second time he has won the race, He was the 2003 winner, but sat out the 2004 race.

Sorlie will bring in a winners purse of $72,000 dollars.

Some other factoids from this years race:
Previous winner Martin Buser raced despite the fact that a week earlier he injured his hand in a table saw accident and had to have the tip of his finger amputated.

After several years of fighting Rachel Scdoris was able to race. What makes that of interest compared to other rookies is that she is blind. Special allowances had to be made in in race rules to allow her to have an "Interpreter". Traditionally a musher could not have outside support of any kind.

Unusally there where about a half dozen teams in this years race that had run the earlier Yukon Quest race between Whitehorse Yukon and Fairbanks, Alaska.
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xjramper
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Thu Mar 17, 2005 3:10 am

Explain to me what PETA stands for? I've always known it as People Eating Tasty Animals.  bigthumbsup 

XJR
Look ma' no hands!
 
L-188
Topic Author
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Thu Mar 17, 2005 3:14 am

Oh forgot one other factoid.

There was a university group up there studing the dog on a DOD grant to see if there where anything they could lean from them to improve the warfighting capabilities of our troops.

BTW:ED Iten just came down the chute and under the arc in Nome to claim 2nd place.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Thu Mar 17, 2005 3:28 am

The I-Killed-A-Dog didn't get the usual play down here in the Lower 48 this time around, except for the bit about the blind girl.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Chugach
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Thu Mar 17, 2005 8:36 am

First and foremost, congrats to Sorlie.

Also, did any of my fellow Alaskans catch Craig Medred's annual bitchslapping of USA Today columnist Jon Saraceno in the Daily News a couple weeks ago? It was a good one this year.
 
ShyFlyer
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Thu Mar 17, 2005 12:08 pm

Quoting XJRamper (Reply 1):
Explain to me what PETA stands for?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
I lift things up and put them down.
 
xjramper
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Fi

Thu Mar 17, 2005 12:40 pm

Could you really not tell that my post was dripping with sarcasm? I really cant make it any more blunt.  banghead 

XJR
Look ma' no hands!
 
airplay
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Thu Mar 17, 2005 12:45 pm

Quoting L-188 (Thread starter):
PETA hates if of course, which gives a chance for all of us to give that terror group the finger.

How many dogs die anually at this event? Giving PETA the finger seems to invlove giving some dogs the fist....

http://www.hsus.org/pets/issues_affe...pets/facts_about_the_iditarod.html

I wonder if Alaskans would allow human foot races that resulted in so many deaths...

[Edited 2005-03-17 04:47:48]
 
xjramper
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Thu Mar 17, 2005 12:47 pm

Quoting Airplay (Reply 7):
I wonder if Alaskans would allow human foot races that resulted in so many deaths...

No but they do have those jump into the fridged waters contests to see who lasts the longest.

XJR
Look ma' no hands!
 
ShyFlyer
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Thu Mar 17, 2005 1:03 pm

Quoting XJRamper (Reply 6):
Could you really not tell that my post was dripping with sarcasm?

Sorry, it has been a very long day for me.  ashamed 
I lift things up and put them down.
 
xjramper
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Thu Mar 17, 2005 1:19 pm

Don't let it happen again.  bigthumbsup   biggrin 

XJR
Look ma' no hands!
 
L-188
Topic Author
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Fri Mar 18, 2005 5:17 pm

Quoting XJRamper (Reply 7):
Quoting Airplay (Reply 7):
I wonder if Alaskans would allow human foot races that resulted in so many deaths...

Well, we have Arcticman starting in a couple of weeks.

It isn't a foot race though, more like a combination of snowmachining and waterskiing.

Seems like every years some spectator there gets killed.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
MxCtrlr
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Fri Mar 18, 2005 6:33 pm

L-188 and ANCFlyer, isn't the Iditarod a recreation/celebration of the dog sled "race" to get vaccines to Nome to cure a town empidemic years ago? If so, WTF is PETA's problem. They need to get a life.

MxCtrlr  bouncy 
Freight Dogs Anonymous - O.O.T.S.K.  cool 
DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Fri Mar 18, 2005 6:48 pm

Quoting MxCtrlr (Reply 11):
If so, WTF is PETA's problem. They need to get a life.

Hey MX . . . does a Bunny Hugger ever, ever need a reason to bitch???

And yes, it honors the great sled dog run from Seward to Nome when was a Dyptheria Epidemic hit in the winter if 1925.

http://www.mrsbogucki.com/aemes/class/iditarod/default.htm
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
flyingnanook
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:02 pm

MxCtrlr -- PETA seems to think that it is cruel to "force" these dogs to run the race. They also point out that every year dogs die in the race.

Unfortunately, a few dogs do die, but there are strict regulations in place to try to prevent this. If a musher is cruel to his dogs, then he is kicked out of the race. If a dog dies due to mishandling, the musher is kicked out of the race and will in effect be blacklisted from the mushing community. So far this year, three dogs have died. One cause of death has not been determined yet. One died of an intestinal problem that is often genetic. The third died of gastric ulcers. The latter two dogs' mushers were found not negligent and were allowed to continue.

As for PETA's complaint about forcing the dogs to run, I think they have never seen a race start. It is impossible to keep huskies from running once they're hooked up to a leash. I handled dogs a couple years ago when the Iditarod had to start in Fairbanks due to unseasonably warm weather in Southern Alaska. When leading a team to the starting line, 16 people (one per dog) plus the musher (who is riding on the brake) have to lead them on leashes in order to keep the dogs from running off down the trail. Even then, the dogs still are more powerful than the people.

Huskies (Alaskan, not so much Siberian) are born to pull. If anybody has a husky, especially one from racing lines, they know this. My friend just got a Husky puppy from the pound. She came from racing stock, but is not suited for racing. Even so, the first time she was put on a leash, her pulling instinct took over and she took off down the street like a bullet. Huskies are born for pulling, just like Chihuahuas are born for shaking and annoying yapping.



Anyways, sorry for the rant, but I have gotten into too many arguments over "forcing those poor doggies to run" and I tend to get carried away.

Congrats to Robert Sorlie, he was a real nice guy when I met him two years ago. He's much more deserving to win than someone like Rick Swenson. (But that's another debate)
Semper ubi sub ubi.
 
spirtofalaska
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:23 am

Quoting Chugach (Reply 4):

Damn, i must of missed that one. When was it? i can try to rummage thru some things to find it!

-Todd
you fo'Coffee?
 
gigneil
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Fi

Sat Mar 19, 2005 6:45 am

I personally like to participate in New York's version:

http://www.precisionaccidents.com/

N
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Sat Mar 19, 2005 6:49 am

At the risk of sounding ignorant, or perhaps simply talking semantics, I would think that huskies were born to run, and not born to pull. In my mind, there's a difference.

Example: tomorrow I have to pull a 30 (or whatever) pound golf bag around a 6,800 yard golf course. I'm sure I'll be much more whipped after having pulled that cart four-odd miles than I'd be if I'd simply walked it.

Finally, as a quick aside, nice to see that the US has lost in yet another sport we used to dominate in. First golf, then tennis, now this.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
stlgph
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Sat Mar 19, 2005 7:38 am

Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 16):
Finally, as a quick aside, nice to see that the US has lost in yet another sport we used to dominate in. First golf, then tennis, now this.

We have to let Norway win -something- every one in a while. Besides, it makes us look good and they'll throw a couple of Nobel Prizes our way in return.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
Chugach
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RE: Alaska Gives Peta The Finger Again-Iditarod Finish

Sun Mar 20, 2005 3:31 pm

Quoting Spirtofalaska (Reply 14):
Damn, i must of missed that one. When was it? i can try to rummage thru some things to find it!

Ask and ye shall receive:

http://www.adn.com/outdoors/story/6193381p-6067598c.html


Desk-jockey critics bark only malarkey about Iditarod

CRAIG MEDRED
OUTDOORS

Published: February 20th, 2005
Last Modified: February 20th, 2005 at 04:05 AM


Almost a year has passed without so much as a peep from U.S. Today canine authority Jon Saraceno.


No phone call to say he's coming north this March for the first time to witness the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

No e-mail telling me where to take my opinion of newspaper columnists who shoot their mouths off about things of which they know nothing.

I've thought about calling the Iditarod-hating Saraceno to ask about his plans, but the last attempt at that ended with the columnist hiding behind an editor at America's self-proclaimed national newspaper. Apparently, the national newspaper man felt threatened by questions from a reporter up north of Podunk.

This is somewhat understandable. Alaskans can be intimidating. They are invariably opinionated. They can be loud. They are sometimes cranky. Even the white-collar ones are often found to have some grease or dirt lingering beneath their fingernails.

Unlike the more civilized citizens of America, however, Alaskans are also accommodating to the extreme. We didn't earn that reputation for being so friendly by being the opposite. Wolf-loving Priscilla Feral, president of the animal-rights group Friends of Animals, visits here regularly to tell Alaskans they are wildlife-abusing idiots, and she is tolerated.

In places, she is welcomed and embraced.

Given Saraceno's lack of Alaska knowledge, of course, he may not know this. So, it's possible he's just plain scared to come north.

That's too bad, because I was hoping he'd show up for the Iditarod this year. I wanted to introduce him to Red Dog.

Red Dog is a leader in the team of Kasilof musher Paul Gebhardt. Red Dog will turn 9 in June. That's the equivalent of 63 human years. But despite his age, Red Dog is scheduled to make his seventh run along the 1,100-mile trail to Nome with Gebhardt's team come March.

The Gebhardts -- Paul and wife, Evy -- had planned to retire Red Dog after last year's Iditarod. But Red Dog is having none of it. Through the fall and into the winter, running as a leader with young dogs in training, he has so impressed Paul with his continuing drive that the Kasilof musher doesn't think he can deny Red Dog another run to Nome.

"He's looking really good,'' Paul said. "He isn't keeping the line very tight, but he stays in front.''

A good, command-obedient lead dog doesn't have to do any more to hold his place in a musher's heart. Dogs like Red Dog, Susan Butcher's Granite or Rick Swenson's Andy are special animals, the creme de la creme of canine athletes.

Red Dog is the sort of athlete who might be able to demonstrate to Saraceno that the Iditarod isn't about dog abuse. It's about giving world-class athletes a chance to perform at their specialty.

Red Dog might be able help Saraceno understand that when Jim Rome -- the sports radio host -- blabbers away about mushers "riding through the snow, beating on a bunch of exhausted, hungry, cold, dogs with a whip,'' he isn't just lying, he's insulting the Iditarod's true athletes. Championship sled dogs aren't driven by a whip. They're driven by the same thing that drove Bill Rodgers to all those Boston Marathon victories, the desire to run faster than anyone else.

Rome, too, might understand this if he'd ever been out on the Iditarod Trail to witness the race. But like Saraceno, he's one of those desk-riders more comfortable ranting about his distorted ideas of how things work than in getting out to see how things really do work.

Granted, the thought of visiting Alaska, particularly in winter, probably scares the living bejesus out of both these guys.

"Who wouldn't like to spend the winter nearly freezing to death, all the while getting to pound on puppies?'' Rome once asked. "Me, that's who."

His expression of the fear that training in Alaska in the winter somehow involves "nearly freezing to death'' just about says it all, doesn't it? And forget about the idiotic reference to mushers who "pound on puppies.''

Without a doubt, there were people who tried that in the early years of Iditarod. Maybe hiding somewhere within the dozens of mushers now training for the race is someone who still tries it. But today's top dog drivers all know that a dog who wants to run will beat a dog that is made to run every time.

You would think Saraceno might understand this simple reality. Saraceno is a boxing fan. He must recognize that no matter how a trainer might psychologically abuse a physically gifted but emotionally unwilling fighter, his man is destined to lose to the man who is in the ring because he wants to be there.

It's no different with the dogs. There are plenty every year who fail to make Iditarod championship teams simply because they lack the drive to compete. They end up pulling some kid's sled, towing a skijorer or lounging around as house pets.

Yes, some of these dogs are probably shipped to the pound, too. That's a sad reality for dogs in general. Last year, 466 dogs were taken to the Fairbanks North Star Borough, and 41 percent were euthanized. The year before, 927 dogs wound up there, with 53 percent euthanized.

Very few were sled dogs.

It's no different most places. Pounds across this country each year kill tens of thousands of dogs because no one will adopt them. The usual reason given is "bad temperament.'' Basically, the dogs aren't socialized or, as is the case with some pit bulls and other "fighting breeds," they are trained to be anti-social.

It is rare to find an unsocialized sled dog, let alone an anti-social one. Mushers go to great lengths to make dogs part of the family for the simple reason that this makes the animals easier to live with on the trail. Sure, it's self-serving, but what's wrong with that?

Wouldn't anyone with half a brain or more rather spend time around friendly, happy, gregarious canines like Red Dog than unfriendly, misguided mutts like Saraceno and Rome?



Daily News Outdoor editor Craig Medred can be reached at [email protected]

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