Father-daughter duo take on Iron Dog (just don’t tell mom)

Published: Feb. 14, 2019 at 5:14 PM AKST
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Team 29’s Danielle and Larry Levine will be making Iron Dog history this year, becoming the first father-daughter team to compete in the pro-class race.

It wasn’t the original plan for the Levine's until Larry’s partner got a concussion this winter.

“Thanksgiving rolled around and the question came up ‘What does your schedule look like next semester, how light is it? Can you do the Iron Dog?' I said 'Yeah, it’s looking pretty good,'” Danielle recalled.

The soon-to-be college graduate currently attends the University of Nevada, Reno, and was able to fit training around her class schedule with the help of some accomodating professors.

“They have no clue what it is at all; I think most of them think I’m dog mushing,” said Danielle.

Pitching her professors wasn’t the hard part — it was convincing Team 29’s No. 1 fan on the idea.

“Mom is not too stoked. She’s supportive, but I think she is worried about the two of us together,” Danielle said.

“Danielle said supportive — I’d say not vested, and certainly supportive of us,” Larry said. “I don’t know that she’s thrilled, or any other positive word about the two of us doing this at the same time together.”

Despite not being thrilled by the idea, Karen Levine is along for the ride.

“She’s (Karen) been preaching the past three weeks she wants boring. No more excitement, no more broken things,” Larry said.

For Larry and Danielle, the reward — a nearly 2,000-mile journey that could change their relationship forever — outweighs the risk of the trail.

“My goal is to be safely finished, still have a daughter who likes and talks to me, and be better bonded,” Larry said.