by Lori Tipton
Friday, March 13, 2009
UNALAKLEET, Alaska -- For the second year in a row the Alaska Army National Guard has sponsored an Iditarod musher.
Last year, the Guard sponsored a musher from Tennessee, but this time they recruited one of their own.
Harry Alexie's roots are deep in Alaska, the Guard and sled dog racing, which is why the Army National Guard recruited the 31-year-old from Bethel to compete.
"I've been into dog mushing since I was a child," Alexie said.
Alexie is a sprint musher who decided to slow down and compete in The Last Great Race.
"Just a great opportunity to be racing," he said.
The Guard gave Alexie the opportunity. He has been an Alaska Guardsman for 14 years.
"As far as we know, Harry is the first current Guardsman that's participated in the Iditarod," Sgt. Maj. Clinton Brown said.
The Guard paid for his team and his training. Alexie chose two-time defending Iditarod winner Lance Mackey to be his coach.