Iditarod is an exciting time of year for the villages along the trail. These remote, normally quiet, and peaceful villages turn into the crowded, place to be during the Iditarod. Droves of children huddle around the mushers and their dogs to observe anything and everything they can. To see their role model.
Iditarod mushers are heroes to these young children. They look up to them; they want to be just like them. The children adore the dogs. They get as close as they can. In Huslia, Martin Buser even invited some youngsters to help him take his dogs on a walk. Most mushers pause and take the time to pose for pictures and sign autographs. Not many other sports, in mid-competition, can you see athletes stop to visit with fans. A role model.
Sleep deprived, freezing cold, most likely cranky, they still come into the checkpoint smiling and waving to the welcoming fans. The mushers are incredibly polite to their fans, they are positive and upbeat, no matter what situation they are currently in. A role model.
After a 6-10 hour run in 50 below zero temperatures with blowing wind, their first task is to take care of their best friends. They don’t even take the time to get themselves a drink or go in to warm up, their dogs come first. The youngsters looking on are watching the most loving and caring people take care of their dogs. The children are seeing their heroes tell their dogs how great of a job they did, how proud they are of them, how much they love them, and even giving hugs. That is a role model.
The Iditarod is an event which teaches children how to love and care for others. It teaches kids sacrificing for others. The race teaches people not to give up. The Iditarod teaches children what a true role model is.