Philip needs a sled to finish Iditarod!
"Wait... don't you already have a sled?"
Well, yes. I have a sled that was built in 2003 and has been upgraded several times since then. It is a fantastic sled and has gotten me through my qualifying races and years and years of training.
Here's the problem: It's heavy.
It will make the dogs work harder than they need to. I tend to overpack anyway (better safe than sorry), so having a lighter sled will make it easier on the dogs.
Here's the second problem: I only have one sled.
For anybody who followed Iditarod this year, you know that there was hardly any snow cover for the race, meaning that teams were cruising along on ice for a good portion of it. While ice is great for the dogs (less drag), it's a nightmare for mushers and their sleds, as there is very little control going through technical sections of trail. Here is a picture of several of the sleds that came back from Iditarod (photo courtesy of my friend and Iditarod veteran Karen Ramstead):
Most of these sleds were destroyed within the first 300 miles of the 1,000-mile Iditarod this year. Two notoriously difficult sections of trail-- the Dalzell Gorge and the Farewell Burn-- were almost completely snow-free, and so there were many crashes resulting in destroyed sleds and injured mushers this year.
Many Iditarod mushers start the race with a heavier, sturdier sled to get them through the technical portion of the Alaska Range, and then switch to a lighter sled once the trail gets less treacherous. That is exactly what I plan to do. Having a second sled waiting for me after the tricky part of the trail will help ensure that, even if my first sled breaks during the technical part of the trail, I will have another sled to use so that we can continue down the trail.
So, what will your donation be used for?
My friend Tim Krause built an excellent "finishing sled" for my training partner Justin Savidis last year-- despite the lack of snow and rough trail, the sled came through just fine (so did Justin and his amazing dogs!). This sled was also the lightest, most flexible sled I have ever seen! Tim has already agreed to build a near-identical finishing sled for me-- now we just have to fund it!
The funds raised by this campaign will go toward the construction of the sled, as well as purchasing a sled bag (the bag that holds all of the food & gear for the dogs and the musher). The sled will be very similar to the one Justin drove under the Burled Arch in Nome during the 2014 Iditarod-- it survived some of the toughest trail in Iditarod history! (Thanks to my friend-- and fellow Iditarod 2015 rookie!-- Heidi Sutter for this great shot of Justin finishing the Iditarod!)
Most sleds of this quality will retail for over $3500, but Tim, a musher himself, knows how to make a great quality product and is able to keep the price down.
Please consider donating to this campaign! Beside my entry fee (which was already completely covered by my supporters in a previous GoFundMe campaign-- thank you!) and dog food, this will be my single most significant expense as I prepare for Iditarod.
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