Local Woman on Quest for the 2015 Iditarod
Vermont-native and longstanding Manchester resident Gwenn Wisell Perkins Bogart has completed her second qualifying race in her journey to the 2015 Iditarod. Bogart, co-founder of Casting for Recovery and a member of the local school board for four years, is currently a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. Bogart hopes to become the first Vermont native to compete in this legendary race.
The Copper Basin 300 sled dog race starts and finishes in the Interior Alaska community of Glennallen. It was won by Allen Moore, of Two Rivers, Alaska, who achieved his fifth Copper Basin victory and is the winningest musher in this race’s history. The sled dog race drew a mix of racers from Alaska as well as Russia, Sweden and Australia.
“The Copper Basin 300 has the reputation of being the toughest 300-mile sled dog race in Alaska,” said Bogart. “The organization even uses this as their tag line, and veteran mushers say that if you can complete the Copper Basin, you can do the Iditarod. If I could not finish this race, I knew my dreams and goals of participating in the Iditarod were not realistic,” said Bogart. “Not only do I now have a 300-mile qualifier under my belt, but I also have the Copper Basin experience to prove to myself that I have what it takes be a part of Iditarod 2015,” she enthused. Bogart has spent two years training and competing to qualify in the Iditarod, which attracts the most famous names in dog mushing, who contend in a race against time and extreme arctic conditions, on a trail of more than 1,000 miles over some of the most remote and severe wilderness terrain in the nation.
Televised around the globe, the Iditarod is the most popular sporting event in Alaska; it is committed to traditional culture and the preservation of this historical race that traces its roots to the most famous event in Alaskan mushing. The Great Race of Mercy was the 1925 dog-relay run from Seward to Nome, to deliver serum in a diphtheria epidemic. Today, the race travels from Anchorage to Nome and attracts world-wide press and sponsorship from the world’s top brands.
Following her professional careers in horsemanship and fly fishing, Bogart co-founded Casting for Recovery (CFR) a breast cancer support group headquartered in Manchester, Vt. that uses fly fishing for mental and physical healing. Bogart is raising awareness and support for CFR during her races. “I am looking forward to sharing mushing stories with friends when I travel back to my hometown of Manchester, for my Iditarod fund raiser on March 22,” said Bogart,. The event will be held at the Eagles Aerie 2551 in Manchester, and will include a silent auction, music, food and a raffle drawing. Help put Bogart and Manchester in the spotlight, and take a chance on winning a trip to Alaska for two, by purchasing a raffle ticket. The winner will fly to Alaska for fishing in Bristol Bay; bear-viewing in Katmai National Park; a backcountry adventure tour; a tour of Iditarod Champion Martin Buser’s kennel; and site-seeing tours via float plane, with a value of over $10,000. Tickets are $20 each, five for $90, and are on sale at the Northshire Bookstore, the Eagles Club 2551, the Reel Angler; Mach’s Store, the Wells Store, H.N. Williams, Chem Clean and the Wayside Store, or online at gwennsmushpuppies.com.