ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - It’s been four years since veteran musher Brent Sass last took on the Iditarod, but the allure of racing against the best dog teams on the planet brought him back for 2020.
(Courtesy Whitney McLaren)
“I’m in a much better place then I was in 2016," Sass said. "I feel like the past four years have been a huge growth period for me."
Sass finished 20th in the 2016 Iditarod after being in third place at the White Mountain checkpoint. It was there that his dog team decided it did not want to return to the trail.
The next year, he scratched from the Yukon Quest, an Iditarod qualifier Sass has won multiple times. In 2018, he took a break from mushing altogether and reevaluated his racing career.
“I never thought about quitting," he said, "but it was definitely one of my low points. Had some dog issues that year - really, really concerned about my dogs.”
Gaining a new perspective during his year off, Sass also raised a new dog team. In 2019, he returned to the sport in a big way, winning the Yukon Quest that year and then defending his title, winning again in 2020.
“I think, in a way, I'm a more composed musher and my patience level has skyrocketed,” Sass said.
Taking his new-found perspective into the 48th running of the Iditarod, Sass will wear bib No. 56 at the start this weekend.
"Overall, I’m a completely different musher than I was," he said. "I think it's all for the better, which gives me so much confidence in myself and a new set of dogs.”
Sass' Iditarod Finishes
2016 -- 20th place
2015 -- Disqualified for rule infraction
2013 -- 22nd place
2012 -- 13th place
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