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The Race

By Babs IversonPublished 3 months ago β€’ Updated 2 months ago β€’ 4 min read
Image by Katie Walker from Pixabay

Leaving at two-minute intervals on the 1st of March, forty dog sled teams departed the Anchorage area and headed 1,149 miles to Nome, Alaska.

"Is the wind going to settle and calm down?" cried Max as he jumped up and down.

Michael inquired, "Max, is this your first race?"

"Yep!" exclaimed Max.

"Could get worse, before it gets better. Don't whine and complain! We have straw to bed down on. Just go to sleep! This is our second day. We have a long way to travel. Today, we traveled for four hours. Now, it's time to get some rest. It's the musher who is going to be sleep deprived," scolded Michael.

"The coffee smells mighty good", yawned Mary.

Michael stated, "That's for sure."

"The wind has stopped blowin' and it must be -50 degrees instead of -110," whimpered Max.

Michael announced, "It appears that it's going to be a terrific day after all for running. If we are lucky, we will be given frozen meat treats on our next rest stop."

"Okay, huskies are we ready to rumble!" howled Marty.

As Marty led the team, the others screamed in unison, "Ready!" "Ready!"

By Nikola Johnny Mirkovic on Unsplash

Approaching the mountain range, a moose could be seen running away from a pack of wolves.

Mary muttered, "That looks like trouble up the mountain and to our right. Do hope we can avoid it."

"We should! We will be traveling the southern route. In my first year, we did the southern route. Last year, it was the northern route. Now, it's back to the southern route. After this race, I'll have aged out. Sadly, this is my final year running in the Iditarod," explained Marty.

Max whispered, "I'm sure glad you are our leader."

"Woohoo!" they yelled, taking the frozen tundra by leaps and bounds.

Making the turn around the bend, there was a checkpoint ahead. As predicted, the kind and caring musher passed out frozen meat treats.

Once the rest was over, small sparkling snowflakes twirled down from the sky. While the sky was gray, darkness would soon be upon them.

"Keep up the pace! We are making good time," encouraged Marty.

Mary squealed, "Look! "The Northern Lights are dancing tonight."

"Hope that's a good sign," sighed Michael.

Marty barked, "Let's stay focused!"

Reaching the halfway mark, the team took their mandatory twenty-four-hour rest period.

"Do you ever worry about frostbit?" Max inquired.

Mary replied, "Max, the booties keep our feet from frostbite. You don't want to lose your booties or you will be seeing the vet. There is a chance that you could lose your paws."

"That's not a good thing. Thank you for the info, Mary!" Max replied.

Making sure his team received plenty of kibbles and meat in their water, Milo stroked and patted each husky, thanking each one for staying committed and keeping them on the trail.

After the mandatory twenty-four-hour rest, Milo was prepared and ready to go again.

"Ready! Let's push off," announced Marty.

Minnie sniffed and barked, "I feel a barometric pressure change."

"Yes! It feels like we are headed toward a storm and a whiteout," Marty replied.

Max quizzed, "How are we going to stay on the trail during a whiteout?"

"Do you know the difference between newly fallen snow and hard-packed snow?" Marty questioned.

Max yelped, "Yes!"

"That's good, Max! The trail is hard-packed snow. Follow me without hesitation. Please, don't pause or stumble! My olfactory system is thousands of times greater than Milo's. Not only can I sense a storm coming on, but I can also smell the trail which helps when there is a whiteout."

After checkpoint White Mountain and before reaching checkpoint Safety, Milo almost lost control of the sled that was drifting off to the right. Michael and Mary used all their strength to keep on the trail preventing them from tipping over.

Twenty miles from Nome, while crossing a frozen river the ice began to break. Minnie almost fell through the ice. Max was in front of her. Feeling that Minnie was about to go down, Max pulled on her harness and saved her.

Pexels picture by Mitchell Henderson

"Woohoo! Great job huskies! We made it! Thank you, Michael and Mary, for your special efforts. Your efforts prevented us from tipping over. Coming in second is terrific, I am proud of each and every one of you," announced Marty.

Minnie added, "Thank you, Max, for saving me on the frozen river." "Max, you are my hero!" gushed Minnie.


The following year, Milo entered his eighth Iditarod Race. Milo won. Leading his team to victory, was none other than Max.

After the race, he was called Mighty Max.

Short Story

About the Creator

Babs Iverson

Barbara J Iversen, also known as Babs Iverson, lives in Texas and loves her grandkids to the moon and back. After writing one story, she found that writing has many benefits especially during a pandemic and a Texas-size Arctic Blast.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  4. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

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Comments (19)

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  • Tiffany Gordon about a month ago

    Nice work Babs!

  • Charlotte Flores2 months ago

    Excellent !! The dialogue between the team members is well-written. The scenes are detailed. The reader easily feels him/herself on such a journey. The story idea was interesting and I liked that. I easily put myself in team members' shoes.

  • Cynthia Varady2 months ago

    I could feel the chill. Very well captured.

  • Novel Allen2 months ago

    Took a while to realize the animals were talking, It seemed so real, This is def a winner. Great job.

  • Jason Ray Morton2 months ago

    I can almost feel the cold nipping at me after this. Great story!

  • Mariann Carroll2 months ago

    I enjoyed this fabulous story , it was like I was there .πŸ‘πŸ‘

  • JBaz2 months ago

    I always did want to try dog sledding. Now more than ever. Great story.

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Great doggie dialogue. Well done, my friend.

  • Holly Pheni3 months ago

    What a great group of characters! Adventurous setting as well. Love this one!

  • Dana Stewart3 months ago

    Great story and well written!

  • Call Me Les3 months ago

    Wonderful Babs! I was right there with them. Loved thinking that's what they might be barking about if we understood. Thank goodness for booties and meat treats...oh my heart. πŸ’›πŸ’›

  • Awww, such a wonderful story!

  • Bruce Curle `3 months ago

    Well done and very well thought out

  • Great Storytelling βœ¨β€οΈπŸ’―

  • JANE AYU3 months ago

    Wonderful story

  • Ahna Lewis3 months ago

    Fun story! I enjoyed the "M" alliteration in all the dogs names! :)

  • Wonderful story and great dialogue

  • Scott Wade3 months ago

    Love the dialogue and action. Fast paced which is fitting. πŸ₯°

  • Quincy.V3 months ago

    exciting and heartwarming, showcasing the incredible teamwork and determination of the sled dog team.πŸ™πŸ™

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