Mush On – The 2014 Iditarod Newsletter (for those students who followed Ray)

IMG_8285I love raising and running dogs.  It has always been part of my life. When I was a small kid, I remember riding in the sled while my Dad would take his dog team to check his trap line.

My Grandpa, Joe is known as the Father of the Iditarod. I am the 3rd generation of Redington’s to race the Iditarod. My Grandpa competed in the race he started 19 times and the last year he finished he was 80 years old. My family has had a long history in participating in this race.  I hope that there will be many more Iditarods in the future for my family and me.

The Redington Family in the Iditarod

  • My Grandpa Joe – 19 RacesRedington Family Knik 200 2004
  • Ray Jr (Me) – 13 Races
  • My Dad Raymie- 12 Races
  • My Brother Ryan – 8 Race
  • My Uncle Joee – 2 Races

 Total Iditarods for the Redingtons = 54

This winter we did not have much snow in many parts of Alaska which made training a little tough.  We traveled to areas with better snow including to Cantwell and Eureka Lodge.  I raced in the Knik 200 and the Denali Doubles.  Other mushers from my kennel participated in the Knik 200/100, Denal Doubles, Copper Basin 300, and the Junior Iditarod.  Everyone including the dogs had a lot of fun this season in training and during the races.

Getting ready for Iditarod is the primary focus in training and racing.  In preparation for the Iditarod all mushers are required to send out a ‘food drop’.  The food and supplies are then distributed to the villages we travel through during the race.  This year I shipped out over 2600 pounds for the Iditarod food drop.   The contents of my food drop included dog food, dog gear (booties), people food, and my gear (gloves/socks/extra clothes).  The dogs eat everything from dog food, salmon, supplements, and a variety of different meat.

The following are the 16 dogs that started the Iditarod with me:

  • Pivot (leader –female)*
  • IMG_6781Shred (leader –male)
  • D.O.G.(leader-male)*
  • Viper (leader-female)
  • Brother (male)*
  • Bacon(male)*
  • Snow Ball (male)*
  • Crusader (male)*
  • Steve (male)
  • Twinny (female)
  • Black Dog (male)*
  • Maize (leader-female)
  • Kinco (male)*
  • Vandal (male)
  • Lady (female)*
  • Grit (leader-male)*

The *  after the dog’s name indicates the 10 dogs that finished with me in Nome.  The other dogs were dropped at checkpoints along the way (mainly due to being tired or having a sore muscle).  The dropped dogs were flown backto my kennel to rest and recover.

The trail was tough and very challenging this year.  I am proud of the dogs in my team and the fantastic job they did.   My dog sled held up very well through the rough sections of trail.

IMG_6101I carried a ‘Pokemon’ card for my daughter Ellen over the Iditarod course this year.  (photo left is Ellen and Libby Riddles  in in Anchorage at the 2014 ceremonial start)

It is always a nice feeling making it to Nome and to see my family.   This year, I finished in 8th place taking a little over 9 days and 4 hours.  This marks my 4th consecutive year being in the top 10 and also the fastest time I have ever finished in.

 

A big thanks to all the kids that took the time to follow me in the race and write me letters.

IMG_6083 IMG_6701