Dogs have always been relied on by men and women in severe weather conditions, such as the noble Huskies that pull sleds across the Arctic. One man, twenty-nine-year-old Aaron Peck, is getting ready to pit himself and his dogs against the elements in Alaska as he embarks on a race covering 1,150 miles; a race known as the Iditarod.
Aaron’s father, Norman, is immensely proud of his son. His pride is made even more poignant considering the fact that Norman is recovering from a stroke, and isn’t even able to leave his home town to see his son off on his trek.
Aaron and his team of 16 dogs will leave Anchorage on Sunday and, hopefully, will arrive at Nome on the Bering Sea. The dog sled draws in participants from all over the world to Alaska.
Aaron’s father says that Aaron led from the front the last time he competed, and was unlucky not to win. The racers, and the dogs, face strong winds, freezing conditions and even bears coming out of their hibernation.
At their top speeds, the dog teams can exceed 15mph.
It’s as gruelling for the dogs as it is for the riders, as even though each sled starts with 16 dogs, they don’t necessarily finish with 16 dogs. Sometimes dogs tire too much and have to be ‘crated’ to be sent back. Strict rules dictate though that each competitor must have at least 6 dogs when they finish the race.
Good luck Aaron!