Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Loneliest Race On Earth-The Iditarod

It is called the Last Great Race on Earth
950 miles for a musher and his or her dogs to prove their worth
Racing against cold, sleet, snow, wind and ice into and through the night
Temperatures well below freezing with nary another human being in sight
A better name might well be the Loneliest Race on Earth
Save for signing in at checkpoints mostly a complete human interaction dearth
Only sounds present in the Arctic chill the howling winds and the sound of the runners on ice or snow
The panting and barking of the dogs straining to make the sled faster go
It takes a rare breed to ignore the siren call you are not going win or even place in the top twenty or ten
Nome seems so far away your torso wondering will you ever get warm again
This year the total purse is down by a quarter of a million bucks
Any musher who finishes out of the top twenty will be out of luck
Only a $1049 finishing check
Mere chump change for all the suffering nature did inject
Even the winner for all his or her agony having had to endure
Will see the prize cut by a third to fifty grand hardly for 8 plus days a sinecure
But maybe money has never been the mushers’ lure
Rather the knowledge that when the chips are down a musher and his dogs could endure
Alaska in the winter is a tough unforgiving place
To come out ahead of nature is the rationale for the Iditarod Race  
©March 10, 2018 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet
Alaskanpoet for Hire, Poems to Admire
Poet Extraordinaire Beyond Compare
The Perfect Gift, All Recipients to Receive Lasting Lift

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