Re: World Harmony Run enters Alaska
- Dear Arpan, you guys are doing such wonderful work! What better than
spreading the spirit of harmony, friendship and oneness around the
world? It is indeed a labor of love. Keep up the good work!
--- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, arpan_deangelo
> On our first day in Alaska this year we had an unforgettable
> experience with some of the best athletes in the world, Martin Buser
> and his Iditarod racing dogs. The following is a story about this
> wonderful experience.
> May 15, Anchorage, Alaska
> The sun had set only about an hour before we landed at midnight on our
> Alaska Airlines flight into Anchorage, Alaska. It does not get dark
> there until about 11:30 p.m. at this time of year. But by the summer
> it does not get fully dark at all, day or night.
> This is our present team's first time in Alaska, although the World
> Harmony Run has done events here in years past due to the hard work of
> Palyati and her husband John who have lived here for over 30 years.
> They have also arranged for our visit here which will last five days
> and include many adventures.
> Today's adventures involved a long car ride up to Big Lake where we
> met four time Iditarod Champion and world record holder for that
> amazing endurance event, Martin Buser. Born in Winterthur, Switzerland
> in 1958, Martin Buser became fascinated with sled dogs while still a
> teen. He came to Alaska in 1979 to enhance his knowledge of care and
> training of sled dogs. He began working and training with long-time
> Alaskan mushers Earl and Natalie Norris and ran his first Iditarod in
> 1980. Martin, wife Kathy Chapoton, a teacher, and sons Nikolai and
> Rohn (both named after Iditarod checkpoints), reside in Big Lake,
> Alaska, where the family owns and manages Happy Trails Kennel.
> Martin spends a large percentage of his personal time speaking with
> youth on the humanitarian care of animals and the spirit of the
> Iditarod. A favorite celebrity of the children of Alaska, Martin
> treats them with surprise visits from his dogs during many of these
> Martin runs the race each year with his dogs to test the success of
> their breeding, training and physical endurance. He regards his racers
> as true competitive athletes and prides his team on their longevity
> and spirit of competition. Says Martin, "I run the Iditarod to prove
> that my dogs, bred, trained and raced by Happy Trails Kennels, are the
> best amongst the world's long distance athletes."
> The first Iditarod race in 1973 was won in 20 days. Martin's 2002 team
> currently holds the record for the Fastest Iditarod by completing the
> race in 8 days, 22 hours, 46 minutes and 2 seconds!!
> As tribute to his treatment of his racers, Martin was awarded the
> coveted Leonhard Seppala Award in 1988, 1993, and 1995 and again in
> 1997 for the most humanitarian care of his dogs. The award was named
> for the most famous Alaskan musher who ran the longest and most
> dangerous stretch of the 1925, 674-mile diphtheria serum run from
> Nenana to Nome, which saved hundreds of lives.
> Our visit with Martin at his beautiful home and kennel grounds at Big
> Lake, north of Anchorage, was a thrill for our team, especially our
> hostess and host, Palyati and John. They have followed the news of
> this annual event for many years and even have volunteered at some of
> the checkpoint stations in this 1,150 mile event. Today they finally
> got to meet their real hero of this most unique event .We spent about
> two hours with Martin and his beautiful dogs which he breeds as top
> athletes for the Iditarod and similar races. Martin is extremely busy
> yet he so humbly gave us all of his attention, offering us a private
> tour of the grounds and even giving a demonstration of some of his
> dogs pulling the sled around the property.
> We are grateful to Martin and all the time he spent with us,
> demonstrating the harmonious relationship that a person can have with
> his dogs and with nature. His love for his dogs, his sport and his
> family, who unfortunately could not be there today, gave us a deep
> appreciation for the joy of disciplines involved in training for and
> running such a grueling sport. Harmony became an even greater word to
> us since we have learned how much energy and endurance can be achieved
> through the harmonious relationship between man and animal.
> On our way home we were able to stop by a state park to view
> incredible vistas of the Talkeetna Mountain ranges nearby. With still
> plenty of snow covering the mountains and even on the sides of the
> roads where we drove up to the park, we felt a time warp from the heat
> of Texas and Florida recently, where temperatures were 30 to 40
> degrees warmer just a few days ago. Our introduction to Alaska and its
> incredible beauty and unique climate was truly unforgettable as we
> prepare for more harmony related events in the next few days.
> Arpan and the Team