Iditarod musher Victoria Hardwick makes it to McGrath thanks to trail markers, snowshoes and duct tape
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Shortly after leaving the Rohn checkpoint past the Happy River Steps, veteran Iditarod musher Victoria Hardwick ran into a tree and the front end of her sled fell apart. Immediately the Bethel musher thought her race was over.
“It took a long time to put it back in a drivable position,” Hardwick said. “Unfortunately, I think that cost me five or six hours.”
Hardwick went back to the Rohn checkpoint after crashing and fixed her sled. She held the front end together with duct tape, trail markers, and snowshoes.
“Kind of funny I had a conversation with my friends before the race started saying snowshoes aren’t worth much because you never use them,” Hardwick said. “But that’s the first time I’ve been able to use mine, so it was nice to have them.”
When she arrived at the McGrath checkpoint, she was able to switch sleds during her 24-hour layover. She hopes to make up time on her way north to the checkpoint of Iditarod.
“I’ve been trying to see where I can adjust some of the runs,” Hardwick said. “Cut off some hours of rest to get moving.”
When Hardwick returns through the McGrath checkpoint heading south, she will switch sleds again. Fellow Iditarod musher Travis Beals is letting her use an old sled to finish the race.
Copyright 2021 KTUU. All rights reserved.