Mar 20, 2010, 2:00 PM EST
I’ll leave it up to you readers to determine if the title of the post is accurate or not. Stranger things have come out of Hollyweird: someone green-lighted a remake of Overboard starring Jennifer Lopez, for cripe’s sake.
Newton Marshall, a twenty-six-year-old musher from Jamaica, became the first person ever from the island nation to finish the Iditarod when he crossed the finish line at 7:27 AKDT Friday evening after spending 12 days, four hours and 27 minutes out on the real frozen tundra.
Marshall finished in 47th place, which is nothing to sneeze at, unless Marshall happened to come down with a cold while braving the elements where temperatures often dipped to fifty degrees below zero.
And to cause this story to come around kind of full circle (sort of), Marshall’s main corporate sponsor? Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville restaurant. Margaritas, sled dogs, arctic conditions? Makes sense. You have all that ice just laying around, right?
But Marshall wouldn’t have achieved this remarkable accomplishment without the support of champion Lance Mackey, who happened to win this year’s Iditarod for the record fourth time, finishing three days before Marshall.
Marshall’s team consisted primarily of dogs from Mackey’s kennel, most notably Larry, a lead dog that guided Mackey to seven wins in 1,000-mile races.
Mackey embraced Marshall at the finish line, saying “It’s all you … it’s all you,” as a crowd of several hundred erupted in cheers.
“There was good and there was bad out there, but I think everybody has that in the game. … Fifty below is too cold for me, so I kinda stayed back a little bit because I knew I would get frostbite on my fingers … just to save my fingers.
“Rainy Pass … was hell and back for me. I thought I was going to die at one point because I couldn’t see the trail, couldn’t see my team. My face was getting frostbite and stuff … but it’s all past and gone.”
Despite the bitterly cold trials and numbing tribulations experienced by the Jamaican, who is much more accustomed to much, shall we say, hospitable temperatures, Marshall hasn’t ruled out racing the Iditarod again, if the opportunity were to present itself.
“You never know. We just need more sponsors. If we could get a couple more sponsors, definitely.”
More sponsors, you say? Hey, John Daly, take note: I have an interesting proposition for you. Wait, what? That’s disgusting, John. Come on, dude, that’s not what “proposition” means, ya goofball.
Jamaican Newton Marshall finishes Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race [Fairbanks Daily News-Miner]
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