Fast into the Night
"There is an uncanny resemblance between running the Iditarod
Trail Sled Dog Race and completing a memoir. Both projects require
passion, dedication to learning, and an immense amount of patience;
each requires the collaboration of many beating hearts. In the midst
of each journey, I questioned the wisdom of taking on such a project
and wondered if it would ever come to conclusion. While running
Idotarod and writing this memoir, I have vacillated between daring and
Are you a dog lover? Would you enjoy behind the scenes
knowledge about a fascinating outdoor sport? Are you a fan of real
life adventure? If you fall into even one of those categories, you'll
find Debbie Clarke Moderow's Fast into the Night to be a must read.
The Iditarod is an annual extreme sport race. A musher on a
sled must get up to sixteen good size dogs to run one thousand miles
under extremely challenging conditions. An incredible amount of
supplies have to be sent to points along the route ahead of time.
Most sleeps are limited to a few hours under very primitive
conditions. Fatigue can lead to hallucinating or falling asleep on
I think most of us shudder to even contemplate such an
Fortunately Moderow is not one of them. In 2003 she
participated in this famous race. She had a far more modest goal than
winning: crossing the finish line with her dogs in good shape. That
was not to be. Less than 200 miles from the end her dogs refused to
go any further. She had to scratch (drop out).
"The truth is, I've rarely failed at anything; the territory is
lonely. Pulling out of the race isn't the crux of my problem. After
all, I only wanted to complete Iditarod with healthy and happy dogs.
To lose my connection with the team--that is my definition of failure."
In 2004 Moderow's husband and and finished. (Previously her son
had.) In 2005 it was her turn to try again.
Apart from her participation in a very demanding sport, Moderow
is Everywoman. In Fast into the Night she also shares the choices
that shaped her life and its joys and heartbreaks very thoughtfully
and candidly. So even non dog lovers and people who could care less
about sports would probably get a lot out of this captivating memoir.
On a personal note, at the end of every semester at UMaine the
unclaimed items from the lost and found in the Union are put out on a
table. If you see something you like you can take it. I had my best
find yet: a black cowboy hat that fits me perfectly. I'd never
thought to want one but now I can't imagine not having it. People say
I look awesome in it.
A great big shout out goes out to whomever left that hat.
Sent from my iPod