Iditarod musher Shaynee Traska on why she scratched: 'Something just didn't feel quite right'

Shaynee Traska, Iditarod musher who scratched at the checkpoint of Nikolai (KTUU)
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MCGRATH, Alaska (KTUU) - Iditarod musher Shaynee Traska explained why she scratched in Nikolai saying that, "going into the race, something just didn't feel quite right."

The 30-year-old musher, who drives her dogs out of Two Rivers, couldn't pinpoint exactly what was wrong but said after the first couple of runs, she felt "half sick to my stomach."

"You're covering a thousand miles of wilderness and the hardest part is what's going on in your head," said Traska, who finished her rookie Iditarod in 2018 in 48th place.

A couple of her dogs were sore when they arrived in Finger Lake and a couple more pulled up short coming into Rohn. She said her dogs "are like my kids, when you start to see them sore, mentally you start to go downhill."

When she arrived in Nikolai she decided to call it a day instead of push on a little further down the trail.

As for what's next, Traska is undecided whether she'll race next year after competing in sled dog races for 15 years.

"I'm thinking it's maybe time for a little bit of a break," said Traska as she looked forward to just having fun with her dogs.

Husband Jeremy Traska also mushes dogs with Shaynee out of their Howling Ridge Kennel. Shaynee said Jeremy may run his first Yukon Quest in 2020.

As of Thursday afternoon, Traska was the first and only musher to scratch from Iditarod XLVII.