Gladwin native to race in Iditarod - WNEM TV 5

Gladwin native to race in Iditarod

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Shaynee Traska has what she needs as she prepares for the biggest challenge of her athletic career.

The Yukon Quest 300 veteran, originally from Gladwin, Michigan, wants to play with the big dogs.

Traska is the first person to sign up for next year's race.  

"Very surprised, being a big Iditarod sign up day, there'd be a ton of people out here waiting,” Traska said.

Traska will also hit the trail in her first Iditarod.

"This is almost been a 20 year of mine. When I was nine or 10, my aunt and uncle came to Alaska on vacation. They met Joe Redington, came home to Michigan to tell me about the race and sled dogs. Told my parents, I'm going to do that someday,” Traska said. "It's kind of the big kickoff for 2018."

Race Director Mark Nordman said he and the rest of the staff are still finishing up work from last year.

The 2017 Iditarod ended as Mitch Seavey captured his third Iditarod title last march in record time.

Organizers said they will close out the 2017 budget year with about $3.6 million in revenue, down $270,000 from the previous.

The good news is expenses dropped $183,000 over the same time period.

"We're tightening up everywhere we can. We all know the economy in Alaska is on the up and down side, so we can keep growing and ensure this race happens,” Nordman said. 

Copyright 2017 CBS News / KTVA. All rights reserved. 

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