Kristin Knight Pace has raced both the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest sled dog races.

Kristin Knight Pace has raced both the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest sled dog races.

Kristin Knight Pace is one of 31 women who has not only completed the 900-plus miles Iditarod sled dog race and also the lesser-known (but longer) Yukon Quest.

Taken together, that’s nearly 2,000 miles of sled dog racing, and she’s presumably completed countless miles of training, moving through the punishing tundra.

Dog sledding can be incredibly dangerous. In the Yukon Quest, the temperatures can dip below -30.

She told the blog Lessons in Badassery about what sled dog racing is like:

Mushing is incredibly physically active (I am not seated or sitting down). The skill and power it takes to manoeuvre a sled around trees, jumble ice, glare ice, up and down summits – it takes literally everything you have. Sometimes you’re pushing your sled up inclines so steep that you are pushing the runners up above your head. And you spend hundreds of miles braking. The dogs want to go so fast that you have to keep them at a nice, slow speed to avoid injury or burnout. The brake is the only way you have of pacing the team. And if there’s no snow, like on the 2016 Iditarod, you’re at the mercy of your dogs. In my case, they were merciless! We chased every wild animal you can imagine. They were having the time of their lives while I was terrified, clinging to the sled for dear life.

A Texas native, Knight Pace moved to Alaska after a devastating divorce. She writes about it in her new book, This Much Country.

We’ll talk to her about her kennel, racing and some Very Good Dogs.

Produced by Denise Couture and Jonquilyn Hill.

Guests

  • Kristin Knight Pace Author, "This Much Country," a memoir about how heartbreak helped one woman complete Alaska's two most arduous sled dog races — the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod

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