Iditarod Notebook

Posted: Sunday, March 03, 2002


Much is known about what sled dogs need to eat to stay healthy. Jim Gallea of Seely Lake, Mont. is trying to learn more about how mushers should eat.

Gallea, 21, is an undergraduate research intern at the University of Montana and is running his second Iditarod.

He asked mushers in Iditarod 2002 to participate in a nutrition survey. The questionnaire asks which foods are the best choice for a musher on the Iditarod trail, which foods the mushers think provide the most energy, and which herbs or supplements they use.

Gallea said a summary of survey results as well as nutritional recommendations for Iditarod mushers will be available in early May. --

THE LONG WAY HOME: Three-time Iditarod champion Martin Buser will head back down the trail after reaching Nome.

Buser, his wife Kathy Chapoton, and sons Nikolai and Rohn plan to travel the Iditarod trail on snowmobiles, starting the 1,000-mile trip back home to Big Lake on the Monday following the post-race banquet. They will use snowmobiles offered by friends who will be following the teams up the trail to Nome.

''We're all really excited,'' Buser said. ''It's a family trip. Kathy is a teacher and it works out really well because she and the kids will be on spring break that week.''

Buser's dogs will make the trip back home in a plane. --

WELCOME TO NOME: How do you get a big welcome at the Iditarod finish line?

Nome Mayor Leo Rasmussen told mushers at a pre-race meeting to get into town while folks are still awake ''instead of when DeeDee Jonrowe comes in, at 2 or 3 in the morning.''

Jonrowe, running her 20th Iditarod, has a history of finishing in the wee hours.

''I don't mean to,'' Jonrowe said. ''I don't know why but it seems I rarely have a daytime finish.'' -

HELP!: Mushers will be carrying a new laser signaling device in Iditarod 2002.

The Rescue Laser Flare, made by Greatland Laser of Anchorage, is a small, hand-held laser device that the company says can signal up to 10 miles away and can illuminate reflective material from up to one-half a mile.

The flares can operate for five hours on a single battery. Unlike conventional flares, they do not generate heat and are not flammable.

The company has donated 75 of the flares, which sell for $89.95, for use by mushers and trail-breaking crews.

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