Polson teen races in Junior Iditarod
POLSON – With the 2018 Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race in full racing mode, Polson teen and junior musher Charmayne Morrison is enjoying some down time after finishing the Junior Iditarod back on Feb. 25.
Although Morrison didn’t win the race, she was proud and honored to be able to represent Montana while participating in and finishing the two-day 150-mile premier sled dog race, which follows part of the route of the 1,000-plus mile Iditarod.
This year’s race started at Knik Lake in Wasilla and finished under the banner at the boat landing on Willow Lake. There were seven checkpoints with runs of 15 to 22 miles between each and a mandatory 10-hour layover at the Yentna Station, the half-way checkpoint.
Morrison, who is now 17, has been mushing since the eighth grade. She finished seventh out of 11 mushers in the 41st annual race for 14 to 17 year-olds.
Before embarking on her snowy adventure, Morrison traveled to Alaska a week prior to the race to start to familiarize herself with her borrowed dog team from Kathleen Frederick at Shameless Huskies Kennel and gain to some additional race training at Day Break Kennel with Eric Kelly.
“Charmayne ran a fantastic race on a tough technical trail with dogs she had only known for a week,” Kelly said. “We were impressed with her determination and skill. She is a hardworking solid competitor who is only going to get stronger with experience. She also has a great understanding of dogs and how to care for them.”
Kelly went on to mention that the race marshall complimented Morrison by saying, “she had the strongest looking team to cross the finish line.”
As for the full, 1,000-mile Iditarod next season, Morrison is looking forward to the challenge.