Doctor, Musher takes aim at the “Iditarest” Challenge once again

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RUBY, Alaska (KTUU) - Some people’s goals could be considered once in a lifetime achievement — feats like completing the Iditarod Sled Dog Race or climbing to the top of Mount Everest. For Eagle River’s Larry Daugherty, that’s all in a year’s work.

The oncologist-turned-musher hopes to finish this year’s race as part one of the “Iditarest” challenge. If successful, Daugherty would be the first person to do both within the same year. Daugherty came close three years ago. His group was less than 400 feet from the summit, but conditions turned - he had to turn back.

This year might be a different story. Just shy of the race’s halfway mark, Daugherty told KTUU that things are going well.

“I’m not even really thinking about Everest yet, I’m just trying to get through this,” he said through laughter. “The trails been a lot easier than I thought it was going to be this year.”

Racing with a team of dogs from Atka Kennel, the doctor has decorated his sled with prayer flags, similar to ones often displayed in Tibet and Nepal. Daugherty has written the names of his patients on individual flags, which he will attempt to bring along to the top of the mountain later this year. He is also using the “Iditarest” challenge as a platform, raising money which helps assist medical centers in developing countries.

“For me, it’s a way to be able to share the journey with my patients,” he said, “To be able to mingle it with the adventures I do, it’s just kind of the perfect blend for me.”

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