After completing the ceremonial start in Anchorage yesterday, musher Ed Stielstra has decided to scratch from the 2013 Iditarod.
This news doesn’t come as a surprise to his fans. His Nature’s Kennel blog announced on February 25 that he would be dropping from the race due to an accident he had while training his dogs:
It was about 8 pm and he was getting ready to leave the dog yard with ten of his race dogs. He leaned down to pull his quick release and at the same time adjusted his headlamp. He slipped off the runners of the sled, was drug into one of our metal snub posts consequently biting his tongue and chipping his teeth. He could not get up in time and hit the second snub post head on, causing a six in gash in his head and needing 19 stitches. The dogs are fine, but the musher is taking longer to heal than he’d like.
The fact that Ed was even able to mush in the ceremonial start is a testament to his toughness.
Ed has completed seven Iditarods, starting with his rookie year in 2004. Last year was his best finish when he came in 25th place. This is his first Iditarod scratch.
We wish Ed all the best in his recovery.