While many in the contiguous 48 states will be watching the Daytona 500 and the Oscars Sunday, the eyes of Alaska focus on the Iron Dog.
The grueling snowmachine race has been going strong since 1984. For the 22nd time, former Alaska First Gentleman Todd Palin competes.
Palin has won the race four times and he’s teaming for a second straight year with Tyler Huntington. The duo, Team 11, honors an American hero in the process. Todd Palin races in support of the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, with a snowmachine decked out in a patriotic decal that pays homage to one of the greatest snipers America has ever known.
Palin and Kyle became friends while filming the NBC show Stars Earn Stripes.
“It was just an honor to spend time with Chris Kyle,” Palin told The Palin Update with Kevin Scholla on Mama Grizzly Radio. “I think that the success of (American Sniper) just shows that Americans have been waiting to be able to lift that hero up. It’s been huge”
As far as Palin’s latest Iron Dog attempt, the weather is less than ideal for the start of the race with too much rain and perhaps not enough snow. But the racers are set to adapt in an event known for its twists and turns. This time around a change in ride for Palin, who’ll be on a Polaris Switchback complete with a 600cc motor and 136-inch long track.
Todd and Sarah Palin are the parents of five children and grandparents of two, but back when Todd started his first Iron Dog they only had two kids, Track and Bristol. Willow, Piper, and Trig have grown up with the remarkable event.
“They enjoy it,” said Palin. “They enjoy looking back at old pictures. It really shows you how fast time goes by.” Now Team 11 hopes to go by the competitors just as fast in the 2015 edition of the Iron Dog.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin wished her husband well in a Facebook post:
In downtown Anchorage today for the ceremonial kick-off of the world’s longest, toughest snowmachine race – the Iron Dog! Tomorrow is the official start where tough teams comprised of two racers on individual sleds that they’ve spent months wrenching on speed across Alaska through unbelievable conditions, upwards of 100 mph wide open to the elements! Racers brave blizzards in pitch blackness atop frozen rivers to do their barehanded repairs of shocks, tracks, engines or anything else that gets thrashed during this crazy-tough endurance competition; they skip open Arctic waters between Native villages; they dodge wild animals throughout the 2030-mile extreme adventure that ends next Sunday in Fairbanks. These athletes live life vibrantly – and girly men don’t race the Iron Dog. We’re pulling for Team 11 (this is Todd’s 22nd Iron Dog!) but wishing every team a safe, unforgettable, rewarding week.
Now all that stands in the way of another championship for Todd Palin is 2000-miles of snow, dirt, open water, and ice. While Hollywood elitists will be handing out awards to one another at the all too cozy Academy Awards, Todd Palin will be roughing it–racing in an event he’s loved for over two decades.
To hear the complete interview with Todd Palin visit www.mamagrizzlyradio.com.