A far-away out-of-towner is planning to compete in Alaska's XXXVI Junior Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Taylor Steel, 16, from Hopewell, Penn., plans to join the ranks of young mushers competing this year.
Steel arrived in Alaska in August to work at the Seavey's tour kennel "Ididaride Kennel." In October Mitch Seavey offered Steele a team of her own to race and she accepted.
"They got really good dogs. They like never get tired," Steel told the Mirror. "They just want to run."
Steel became interested in racing when she was 7 or 8 years old. Over the years her interest grew. Steel's mom, Julie, thought her daughter's love of dog racing would just be a phase and eventually the young girl would move on, but Taylor never did.
Now Steel aspires to race the Iditarod when she comes of age.
The Jr. Iditarod is open to teen mushers between the ages of 14 and 17 years old. The race, scheduled for Feb. 23-24, starts in Wasilla and traverses approximately 150 miles of Alaska's Southcentral wilderness, including parts of the Iditarod trail.