Race rookie speaks about the leader who stepped up

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MCGRATH, Alaska (KTUU) - A race rookie from Canada spoke to a Channel 2 crew in McGrath about his motivations in racing the Iditarod and how "the misery of it drives you."

Iditarod rookie Bradley Farquhar shows off Jimmy, a dog he says stepped up when his leader needed a break.

Bradley Farquhar, 31, from Nova Scotia, described that when he was 8 years old he watched the movie 'Iron Will,' the story of a young boy who saves his family farm by winning a dog sled race.

The film inspired Farquhar, who loved watching the process that goes into running dogs.

From the safety of McGrath, he described the harrowing moments descending Dalzell Gorge, saying, "if you think you've lived, you haven't." He said the open water and steep descents forced him to get off the sled and direct the leaders.

Despite his fear, Farquhar showed a typical musher's ability to forget pain. "When I got to the checkpoint I thought, 'Wow, I wish I could do it again.' "

Farquhar described how a leader dropping back created the opening for a dog named Jimmy to step up and take control of the team. "This dog is upfront and still tight on his tug line, he wants to go, all right, let's go up front!"

The rookie musher also spoke about how it's unfair to judge sled dogs by the same endurance standards you would a person. "These dogs are incredible, watching them do this you can't help but sit back and be amazed."

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