“Race Across Alaska: First Woman to Win the Iditarod Tells Her Story,” as the title suggests, tells us a brave and touching story of the first ever Woman to win a grueling Iditarod, the “Last Great Race On Earth,” from her own perspective. For those of you who are not familiar with Iditarod Trail, it is an long-distance sled dog marathon taking place every year (since 1973) in Alaska, from Anchorage to Nome – more than 1100 miles (1770 km). In the early March, mushers from all around the world are coming here to test the limits of their skills and their dogs in the harsh and merciless winter landscapes, where temperatures sometimes fall bellow −94°F (−70°C). Can you imagine that cold? I just can’t. During the last winter, temperatures in my town were around -13°F (−25°C) and it was freaking cold, but this is just too much if you ask me.
Just this lone fact, makes the astonishing feat of Libby Riddles, lady winner of this race and co-author of the book, even more significant. Yeah, she won that race in 1985, and took a world of mushers by surprise. What a brave Woman – my deepest respect! In this book, with the help of co-author Tim Jones, she shares with us every incredible detail of her once-in-a-time journey. “Race Across Alaska” is a beautiful story of dedication, passion, courage, friendship, and love for the dogs and nature itself. The whole book was written like a journal, it is easy to read, and it is quite inspiring. I guarantee you’ll live, quite emotionally, through every moment of Libby’s adventure as if it’s your own. Don’t wanna spoil a thing for you, but let me tell you ahead a few more words about the things you’ll find out in this book.
Race Across Alaska Traits
During her monumental endeavor, Libby’s gone through many daunting situations, moments of bad luck and despair, but also some of the unforgetable, and quite inspirational, moments of courage, strength, wits, admiration and joy. They are all carefully described and explained here, and you’ll feel them all deep inside, trust me. There’s no stone left unturned – from the beauty of Alaskan nature, Libby’s touching relationship with her wonderful dogs, her determination in the perseverance of the team, her passion for this competition, and friendship with other mushers, to the cruel weather conditions, difficulties in finding the trail markers, dealing with illness of her dogs, sleep deprivation, drama of survival, and exhausting obstacles. You’ll read about all of that in the “Race Across Alaska,” and a lot more. That’s how detailed and authentic the book really is.
In the end, she crossed the finish line 2 and a half hours before others, with 13 of her beloved dogs! For the note, every competitor in this marathon must have a team of 16 dogs, of which at least 6 dogs must be alive at the finish line. This single rule explains how exhausting and dangerous is this Alaskan marathon for the dogs too. In this case, it also shows how dedicated and brave Libby Riddles was back in 1985 succeeding to lead almost all of her dogs to the finish line.
That same year she won a Victor Award for Excellence in Sports, and “Sportswoman of the Year” Award from the Women’s Sports Foundation, and in 2007 was deservedly inducted as a “Hall of Fame Moment” into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. “Race Across Alaska: First Woman to Win the Iditarod Tells Her Story” is a book which serves as a sort of testament of her magnificent success. I honestly recommend it to every dog lover and all the people looking for some motivation!