DeeDee Jonrowe scratches from 2018 Iditarod, cites health reasons

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Veteran musher DeeDee Jonrowe will not be making it to Nome this year, according to a statement issued by officials with the Iditarod race.

In the Iditarod Trail Committee's statement, they said Jonrowe "made the decision to scratch due to personal health reasons and concern for taking care of her dog team, which is her No. 1 priority."

Jonrowe scratched at the Rainy Pass checkpoint at 11:12 a.m., the ITC said.

She reportedly had 14 dogs in harness when she decided to scratch. It is not known whether the dogs had any illness or injury.

Jonrowe reflected on what it means to race in the Iditarod ahead of this year's race, saying that it is "so much more special than a dog race."

Jonrowe, who at age 64 had raced in over 30 Iditarods, consistently finished in the top 10. Her personal best finish was 2nd place.

She reportedly said that this year's Iditarod would be her last. On her decision not to race again after this year, she told the Iditarod that, "I am relieved that I have made this decision. It feels right for myself and for Mike."

"I will not raise pups nor are there any dogs for sale. I will age them out as the precious family they are," she said.

KTUU interviewed Jonrowe at the ceremonial start on Saturday, March 3. An excerpt of that can be found below: