01
Dec
09

Jamaica We Have a Dogsled Team


It’s a story as old as time, a Jamaican businessman, on vacation in Canada, comes across a dogsled with wheels, enabling it to run across land without snow and imports it to his home. He adds it to the options his adventure touring company offers, along with zip-lines and tubing trips and then decides he wants to participate in the Iditarod. Of course, as usual, Jimmy Buffett is a sponsor, because as we all know, Jimmy’s fans are all known as Husky-heads (ed. Yeah, that’s not true at all…Well, the sponsorship part is.)

Today, Newton Marshall, 26,  is up in Alaska, training with Lance Mackey, winner of the last three Iditarods in a 3-month boot camp. After training last year with Yukon Quest champion Hans Gatt, Newton finished 13th out of 29 mushers in the 1,000 mile race.

“He’s going to be doing everything that we do,” said Mackey, who is also a four-time Yukon Quest champion. “From cleaning dog crap to cutting meat. Prepping for the races. Obviously the training part of it. Everything that it takes to make this household run, he’s going to be involved in.”

When Marshall began the Yukon Quest, he was labeled a joke by one judge; that same judge later awarded Marshall the special Challenge of the North award given to the musher who “exemplifies the spirit of the Yukon Quest.”

Leasing dogs from Mackey, including the lead dog in his championship runs should help Marshall in his Quixotic quest. A documentary following his trip through the Yukon Quest is being released in Canada next year, and Marshall is, obviously, trying to drum up interest in a feature film on his quest to go with the book he intends to write as well.

The nascent Jamaican Dogsled Team is paying for Marshall’s training with Mackey and hope that a good finish in the Iditarod could inspire many more Jamaicans to get interested in the sport, just like the famed (failed) Jamaican Bobsled team.

[Anchorage Daily News]


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