Karin Hendrickson prepares for the Iditarod
ANCHORAGE, Ak--- Originally from Mount Baldy, California Karin Hendrickson first encountered dog sledding as a volunteer in 2002.
"I had never seen a sled dog before, and I just got really hooked and then in 2003 I came up again and sold everything quit my job and moved up here and worked for room and board to be a handler for a couple years," Karin Hendrickson, Iditarod Musher.
By 2006 Hendrickson started building her own team. Three years later she was a rookie in the Iditarod. This year will be her sixth consecutive race and she says each race is a new experience.
"It's a huge disadvantage. I'm doing runs after work and not getting a lot of sleep all winter long," Hendrickson.
" We have a lot of ice and it's really hard on the dogs it's like running on concrete plus there's a chance of them slipping, cutting their feet, so it's just hard all the way around to find good trails. A lot of mushers are traveling to eureka or a lot of other places where the trails are better, but because I work full time through the entire winter I can't really get away so we're making do with what we have and the dogs are holding up pretty well, we're doing okay, but it's not been easy," Hendrickson.
Any musher will tell you the Iditarod is a challenge, but that's what drives the Alaskan spirit. Hendrickson says to win you need luck on your side, a clean ride, and skills.