2 on 2: Nic Petit looks toward 2020 Iditarod, leaves memory of 2019 race behind

Girdwood (KTUU) Up in the mountains at his Girdwood kennel, there's one thing we know that Nic Petit is not worrying about: last year's Iditarod race.

“It's way cheaper mentally to just get over it. Who cares?” he says while petting one of his dogs.

The past two races have been slightly rough for Nic and his team. In 2018, he was leading until he took a wrong turn between Shaktoolik and Koyuk, costing him the lead and the likely the win to Joar Leifseth Ulsom.

In 2019, he was leading again, when right between Shaktoolik and Koyuk, his team sat on the sea ice and refused to move.

If you ask Nic about that and how it affects his game plan for the upcoming race -- he says it doesn't.

“Sometimes, we don't get a finish line. It's okay. We've gone the wrong way too, we don't get too upset about it,” he says.

Petit is focused on his tour business this summer and the time he gets to spend with his dogs on the trails. It's the trips they take together down the trails that make it all worthwhile.

“When they're going down the trail and ... beautiful... it's hard to describe, really, you see this dog team. You raised them. They're all in front of you, they're all your kids because you don't have kids,” he says with a chuckle.

Originally from France, he never takes his mushing career for granted, because during his first Iditarod back in 2011, he thought that would be the last race he would get to run.

“On my way to Nome, I actually applied the brake, I wanted to go slower so this lasts longer. I don't think I'll be able to do this ever again. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he says quietly.

That's not to say he's not keeping his eye on the prize. He admits, it would be cool to have the Joe Redington Senior trophy.

After all, you can't spell competition without Petit.

The 2020 Iditarod will begin on Saturday, March 7 at 10 a.m. with the ceremonial start in downtown Anchorage.

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