Team 11, comprised of Todd Palin and Tyler Huntington, had to scratch out of the 2014 Iron Dog race in Alaska Monday night. The Palin-Huntington duo posted the best time of 39 teams from Big Lake to Skwentna. But then some bad news. Huntington’s sled began running on one cylinder after leaving Skwentna. Team 11 turned around and tried to diagnose it. At first, they thought it was an exhaust sensor, so they changed it in Skwentna. No luck.
The team returned to Pain’s shop in Wasilla. There, they were able to determine it was a problem they could not repair in time and get back on the trail without making the trail volunteers stay out in the elements an extra day. So they decided they will get things fixed with no time frame. The idea is to use the sleds for practice runs in 2015.
“I really feel bad about the mechanical issue,” Craig Compeau, sponsor of Team 11 told Breitbart Sports. “It’s one of those things in life you file under ‘stuff happens.'” Compeau is a Fairbanks Ski-Doo dealer who came up with the idea of adding pink to some of the sleds this year in an effort to help fight breast cancer. Palin, Huntington and some of the other Ski-Doo racers are raising money through Breast Cancer Focus.
The Iron Dog race is grueling. It takes a lot out of the participants and their snowmachines. Todd Palin told Breitbart Sports before the race that you have to expect the unexpected. Many a run has been stymied even when the drivers gave it their all. Sometimes the weather is the culprit. In this case, it was mechanical. Palin and Huntington have six championships between them. That’s proof it can even happen to the best.
Despite the early exit, Team 11 should hold their heads high. “I’m proud as hell of all their hard work,” Compeau said. Although Team 11 is out, the Ski-Doo team is doing well overall. Four of the top seven teams right now are on Ski-Doo sleds. “There’s lots of pink along the Yukon,” Compeau said.
Indeed there is. Over ten-thousand bucks have already been raised. So while Palin and Huntington are looking ahead to next year, the fight against breast cancer continues right now. Todd and Sarah Palin have brought a lot of attention to Breast Cancer Focus in recent weeks. That’s a championship effort, regardless of any race results. Donations are still being accepted at www.bringhomethepink.org.