News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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March 28, 2013

Iditarod racer to relate her experiences from dog sled race

ROCKVILLE — Rockville Public Library has scheduled Iditarod race veteran Karen Land, and her dog, Borage, for an appearance next month to share her experiences from years of competing in the Alaskan dog sled race.

Her appearance is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on April 9.

Land grew up in Indianapolis among suburban strip malls and popular sports. As a child, the snow and ice of Alaska seemed to her like another planet. Her love for dogs, horses and all animals eventually steered her to a sled dog kennel in Montana.

While hiking the Appalachian Trail with her dog, Kirby, in 1997, Karen became interested in sled dog racing. When she stopped in a town to resupply, she picked up a book about the Iditarod. In her tent at night, she read the book and a dream was born.

In 1999, Karen and Kirby moved to Maine, where she enrolled in a graduate writing program. As part of her studies, she wrote a documentary about a rookie dog musher preparing for the 250-mile Can Am Crown Sled Dog race in northern Maine.

More and more opportunities arose for Karen to come closer to actually participating in the Iditarod. Karen went from an observer to a doer in just three short years. It takes most mushers at least twice that long to work up to the Iditarod.

In March 2002, Karen began her first Iditarod and was able to finish. She went on to compete and finish two more times.

The library event is free and for all ages. For more information, call the library at 765-569-5544.

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