3/7/2011 7:56 PM
It's hard to believe that a young man from Jamaica would want to compete in Alaska's Iditarod not once but twice. Musher Newton Marshall competed in the race last year and was the first Jamaican to ever cross the finish line coming in 47th in a field of 71. He is back to try it again this year.
The Jamaican native got his start back in 2005 when the operations manager at Chukka Cove noticed his way with animals. Marshall was then put in charge of the resort’s three dogs. His exuberance propelled him to move to the Yukon and train with huskies. There he competed to qualify for the Yukon Quest. In 2009 he was the first Jamaican to finish the Quest coming in 13th in a field of 29 mushers. He then began training for the Iditarod with the help of experienced musher Lance Mackey.
This year’s Iditarod began on March 5th. Newton was fifth out of the gate, dancing on his runners the whole time. He is competing against 62 high caliber mushers during this 1,150 mile race. Current standings put him at 27 in the pack.
The Iditarod is a very unique competitive event, often times called the “Last Great Race on Earth.” Mushers travel over 1,150 miles of rough terrain over a three week period. They will encounter mountain ranges, frozen rivers, desolate tundra and temperatures that get far below zero as the guide their sleds pulled by a pack of dogs, the only companions they will know along the way.
It is a far cry from the sandy beaches of Jamaica for Newton Marshall.
Posted by Wendy
3/7/2011 7:56 PM |