Nicholas Petit had a fantastic Iditarod last year.
In only his third run in the Last Great Race, the Girdwood, Alaska musher placed 6th: perhaps prompted in part, he says, by an 8.5-hour layover in the Unalakleet checkpoint (on the Norton Sound coast, late in the race), after which he had a “flying machine for a dog team.” Petit says simply, “that was fun.”
As he told KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen in Anchorage this Saturday, some of the musher’s 2013 dogs – 5 of the ones that crossed the Nome finish line – are back in 2014.
As for the potential challenges of this year’s trail, especially its potential to be fast and possibly treacherous for mushers and their teams, Petit seems to be keeping a measured tone. As he told Laureli, “We’re all going to have to deal with the same issues, so it’s a matter of how we manage them, and how our dogs respond to our ‘please slow down!’ commands.”
And as for his own practice of slowing down his dogs, Petit says it’s simple: “I ask them to walk, and they walk; so I say ‘walk,’ and they slow down.”