Sunday, April 19, 2009
Jake and the Iditarod
or what's a nice Jewish boy doing all the way up in here in the cold with a team of dogs going nowhere? What am I supposed to say, my son the musher? Jake Berkowitz, a 22 year old dog sled racer, originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, just completed in his second Iditarod, placing 31st out of 67 and the only one who finished with all 18 of his dogs. How did he get here and what should we expect from him in the future?
It was a bit of a roundabout journey to Alaska as you might guess. It took Jake from Talmud Torah in St. Paul to Israel to white water canoeing in Colorado and then a winter job in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan guiding dog sled trips. The company he was working for in Michigan, Nature's Kennel, asked him to run in the Iditarod and after competing once he was hooked. So he moved to Alaska and the rest is history.
Look for Jake in next year's race as his dogs should all be back with an additional year of training and experience. As Jake has said, his goal is a top ten finish. I don't if that would be a record for a Jewish dog sled racer, but I was hazard a guess that it just might be.
Cross-posted to SportsBiz