Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
Mushing to the finish Line
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Susie and Hans with their dogs
Susie and Hans with their dogs
By Shiela Rabe
Feb. 10, 2013 9:59 a.m.

  On this the ninth full day on the  1000 mile trail from Whitehorse to Fairbanks the 20 plus remaining teams of mushers and dogs have got to be  hiiting the wall, to borrow from marathoner-speak. The two leaders are nearing the finish line about a day ahead of the rest of the field. Susie Rogan is holding on to ninth spot. At her present rate of 7-8 mph she is making good time. I personally don't know Susie but, according to my husband Bruce, his cousin is a determined woman who finishes whatever she starts. So Susie and her  beloved dogs will get there. According to the Yukon Quest website she has only dropped two dogs. All the teams start off with a string of 14 dogs, 8 in harness and the spares waiting at various checkpoints. If a musher or the race veterinarians deem an animal unfit to continue the dog is replaced by a fresh animal. The most important consideration for any musher is the welfare of the dogs. Finshing the race comes second and finishing anyhwhere near the front of the pack is a bonus. We both wish we were able to cheer her on in person as Susie and her team cross the finish line, but we'' be there in spirit!

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