Iditarod is just mush, mush, mush, save a life, mush, all day long

Allen Moore and his dogs

Allan Moore and his dogs. Photo by Nicole Bourque.

In the last third of this year’s Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race in Alaska, musher Allan Moore was making his way along the Seward Peninsula coastline when he encountered another musher in trouble. Karin Hendrickson and her dogs were stopped on sea ice in strong wind. Other mushers had passed Hendrickson, either not realizing the danger she was in or not wanting to get stuck on the sea ice themselves, but Moore stopped.

“She started getting cold, cramping, and started getting hypothermic,” Moore later told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Hendrickson couldn’t walk and couldn’t pull her sleeping bag over herself to warm up.

Presenting the Fred Meyer Sportsmanship Award to Moore, musher DeeDee Jonrowe said, “This driver stopped, assessed the situation, saw that she had slurred speech and was … unable to take care of herself, unable to deal with the situation at hand.”

Moore helped Hendrickson up, walked her around, and made sure she was hydrated. Then he attached Hendrickson’s team to the back of his sled, and his dogs led the way to safety. Hendrickson stayed in the race for another day before scratching. Moore placed 24th, his best finish in his five Iditarod races.

Accepting the award, Moore said, “I didn’t do anything special … Most people would stop and help someone, especially when they see a musher in trouble. Hopefully, somebody will pick me up one of these days, which I’m sure I’ll need.”

* Moore’s wife Aliy Zirkle also competed in the race and also won an award. The Iditarod veterinarians gave her the Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award for excellence in dog care and humane treatment of the animals.

* The winner of the race was John Baker, the first native Alaskan to win since 1976, and the first Eskimo ever to win. He covered the 1,150 miles from Anchorage to Nome in eight days, 19 hours, and 46 minutes, beating the previous record by three hours.

2 comments for “Iditarod is just mush, mush, mush, save a life, mush, all day long

  1. Janet Tremer
    April 3, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Congratulations to Alan Moore for doing the right thing without thought to personal gain or loss. This is sportsmanship at it’s best.

  2. May 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I was at the musher’s banquet in Nome when they honored Moore! It was such an inspiring moment to see the gratefulness of Henrickson, who he saved, and the inspiration he was to the other mushers.
    God bless him for his sportsmanship and kindness. The Iditerod is truly a GREAT RACE and it’s because of the awesome men and women (and dogs) who run it!

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