Tim Jauhola (sounds like “Jaw Hole AWE”) & Kyle Malemute, Fairbanks, Alaska, riding the yellow and black of the Bumblebees wearing bib number FOUR!!!
I met Tim back in 1998 while I was sitting in a small very unlevel construction trailer on the banks of Chena River when the Iron Dog Headquarters was in the parking lot at Pike’s Landing. He was a buddy to everyone in the motor sports world of Fairbanks. I was lucky to have him and his crew give so much time to Iron Dog my first year up there. They broke trail, marked trail (even though the racer’s believed it wasn’t) he was there with more banner guys, he had timers for down river, he could make a single phone call and have equipment delivered where I needed it, he would make another call to have two guys drive to Nenana to stay all day to fuel up the racers, oh let’s just say he did it all…..with him I was lucky to meet so many others: Click Bishop, Eric Maccione, Carl Michael, Clinton Huntington, Cynthia Erickson, Peter Captain, Sabie Jervsjo, Craig Compeau, Howard Thies, Steve and Shelly Potter, Gary Peterson, I know I have missed a bunch because every year I had to create a list and the volunteers were over 400 deep and many of them came from Fairbanks, because Tim Jauhola was a person not many people said NO to……I loved that about him.
Over the years, we became great friends, he stayed at my Big Lake Cabin, he stops in for a visit during the summer months, I get a phone call from him every year as Iron Dog deadlines approach. I have watched him in the field race four times……Robby, Bobby, Brad & now Kyle and was lucky to have him as one of my race marshal crew members for several years. He called it like he saw it, he didn’t mince many words, and he was very rarely ever wrong from his first gut reaction!!! Pretty darn quick on the split times too when math was the issue…….even a computer will have a hard time calculating splits, penalty adjustments and work time against Tim Jauhola.
Jauhola is of Finnish origin…..I wish him to make it to the Iron Dog finish line this year with his good partner Kyle. They have practiced up north in the fridgid cold and have a few more miles than some of the field, they rode to Galena and back a couple times like it was a little trail ride to Cow Lake. I remember one year Dennis my husband rode with Timmy to the river out of Big Lake and Dennis came home with a flush in his cheeks that comes back every time I mention a little trail ride with Timmy……..he grins with amusement in the memory of the fastest little run to the river he ever had!!!!
Wednesday next week will be Wrenchin Wednesday in Nome. I will have been on the ground there for about 24 hours when the racers will be looking at thawed sleds, lining up tools, and preparing to go to the half/way banquet. It will be another long night of work, there will be a lot of McGiver Moments for sure and what I take away from my night of observation is the fraternity of boys running an Iron Dog is just another 6 days of riding a bucking tracked sled, as fast as possible along a brutal trail, fighting with mother nature and either keeping tail lights in view or glancing over their shoulders to keep the headlights a fine distance away……..four sleeps my friends before the frenzy of Sunday begins…….
Tim and Kyle, Team 4, grip and rip, hang on tight, hug the bumper, don’t let em pass, hold your ground, use your mighty fine brains to create your own McGiver Moments if needed and then don’t forget to enjoy the ride!!!! See you on Wednesday!!!!