Falmouth Native Fulfills Dream Competing in Iditarod

COURTESY OF SARAH STOKEY'S FACEBOOK PAGE Sarah Stokey, a Falmouth native, fulfills a lifelong dream of competing in the Iditarod, a 1,000 mile dog sled race across Alaska.

COURTESY OF SARAH STOKEY’S FACEBOOK PAGE
Sarah Stokey, a Falmouth native, fulfills a lifelong dream of competing in the Iditarod, a 1,000 mile dog sled race across Alaska.

BARNSTABLE – A Falmouth native is fulfilling a lifelong dream of competing in the Iditarod.

Sarah Stokey, who moved to Seward, Alaska in 2010, is one of the 85 people mushing the 1,000 miles from Willow to Nome.

Stokey said she has wanted to compete in the Iditarod since she was in the third grade.

“I saw a film when I was younger called ‘Iron Will’ and it just really sparked this passion and desire,” Stokey said.

After seeing the film, she went to the library and took out all of the books she could find on dog sledding and said she had become obsessed.

“My Aunt, when I was in fourth grade, actually took me on a two-day overnight mushing trip in Maine,” she said. “And that sort of sealed the deal and I just knew that I loved this sport and it was something I really wanted to pursue when I was older.”

Stokey’s obsession included asking her parents for a dog team every birthday and Christmas.

She attended Northeasten University and on weekends would drive up to Maine and volunteered at a sled dog kennel.

“I ended up deciding to work a little harder during my summers so I could graduate a semester early,” she said. “I spent what would have been my senior spring semester actually dog mushing in Western Massachusetts.”

Stokey said she is looking forward to every aspect of the race.

“It’s such an iconic event in Alaska,” she said. “This is the big event. It’s the Super Bowl of dog mushing.”

Her goal is to finish in the top half of the field.

“Forty-third or better,” she said. “And I think that is a pretty realistic goal for my dog team.”

Stokey has raised a lot of her team since they were puppies.

“I think it will be pretty special working with them and taking them across the finish line,” she said.

The race began over the weekend and the leaders are expected to finish the course which spans dangerous terrain, including two mountain ranges and the wind-lashed Bering Sea coast, in about 9 days.

Stokey said she expects to finish the race in about 11 days.

“This is kind of a dream come true,” she said.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

Material from the Associated Press was used in this article.

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