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A surprise wake-up call highlights rookie musher Susannah Tuminelli’s trip to McGrath checkpoint

Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 10:17 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - For rookie mushers, crossing the finish line can be the most rewarding part of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. For newcomer Susannah Tuminelli, it’s been a memorable experience.

Tuminelli was camping between the Nikolai and Rohn checkpoints when she woke up to her pocket on fire after a box of matches began to burn.

“My pocket was flaming, and I didn’t understand what’s going on because I just woken up,” Tuminelli said.

She added she was able to quickly put it out. The minor setback didn’t slow down the rookie from enjoying her time on the trail.

“I took a super long, too long of a rest, and napped in the sun with my dogs for a while,” Tuminelli said, describing her time at Finger Lake. “It was really nice and had a positive run to Rainy [Pass].”

For the past two winters, the Willow musher has been working toward running the Shameless Huskies racing kennel owned by former Iditarod musher Kathleen Fredericks.

The rookie musher is taking her 24-hour layover at the McGrath checkpoint, and is currently in 33rd place.

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