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And... He's Across!



NOME -- Twenty-six-year-old Jamaican Newton Marshall became the first person from that Caribbean island nation to finish the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race as he crossed the finish line here at 7:27 p.m. AKDT.

Newton, who finished in 47th place, had an elapsed time of 12 days, four hours and 27 minutes from the start line in Willow, 908 trail miles away.

Marshall was sponsored by Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville restaurant and supported by four-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey, who provided training and support. Marshall's team consisted primarily of dogs from Mackey's kennel, most notably Larry, a lead dog that guided Mackey to seven wins in 1,000-mile races.

Mackey embraced Marshall at the finish line, saying "It's all you ... it's all you," as a crowd of several hundred erupted in cheers.

In addition to his official sponsorships, Marshall received an enormous amount of support from spectators along the trail. "At every checkpoint, there was somebody going, 'I'm rootin' for Newton, go Newton!'," he said.

It wasn't always smooth sailing for Marshall, however. "There was good and there was bad out there, but I think everybody has that in the game. ... Fifty below is too cold for me, so I kinda stayed back a little bit because I knew I would get frostbite on my fingers ... just to save my fingers.

"Rainy Pass ... was hell and back for me. I thought I was going to die at one point because I couldn't see the trail, couldn't see my team. My face was getting frostbite and stuff ... but it's all past and gone."

Marshall was repeatedly asked if he'll consider running the Iditarod again. "You never know," he said. "We just need more sponsors. If we could get a couple more sponsors, definitely."

As spectators handed him wrapped food and gifts, he grinned and said, "I can't die for hungry right now. I almost feel like an Alaskan."

---

On a personal note, DeeDee Jonrowe finished 22nd and Blake Freking finished 42nd, so I'm good. My favorites and those I know are across. But five people are still out there, and I wish them the best (especially the rookie 37 year old woman who is in the Red Lantern position), too. It's not over until everyone is in Nome, folks. And everyone is. Done for another year.

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Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
ncb1
Mar. 21st, 2010 12:14 am (UTC)
Now Jamacians not only have a bobsled team, they have an Iditarod finishing dog sled team. Before you know it they'll be winning the Idiarod.
jackwabbit
Mar. 23rd, 2010 03:03 am (UTC)
Well...I'm not sure I'd go that far, but it is fun to see! I was sad the the Jams didn't qualify for the Olympics this year in bobsleigh. But these things happen.
lolmac
Mar. 21st, 2010 05:39 am (UTC)
Squee! Woohoo!!!

I got a special kick during the Olympics of Peru actually have a team. Of one.
jackwabbit
Mar. 23rd, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
I loved that, too. I didn't watch much of the Olympics at all, but I did see that in the opening ceremonies.
lolmac
Mar. 23rd, 2010 04:35 am (UTC)
I watched very little (although more than the last time, when I watched none). There was a local article about the Peruvian skier, and since my current story is largely set in Peru, my radar picked it up.
jackwabbit
Mar. 23rd, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
Understood. Honestly, I didn't personally watch a minute of the Olympics, but hubby had it on and I saw some of it.

Edited at 2010-03-23 05:05 pm (UTC)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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